“Observe and Report” tries to make sexual assault funny


If you watched NBC last night — and why wouldn’t you? — you saw promotions for a movie opening this weekend: Observe and Report.

Honestly, I haven’t paid much attention because, well, it stars Seth Rogen. I don’t have anything against Rogen – I mean, he was in Freaks and Geeks so, at some point, he was awesome. These days, though, he’s just not all that appealing IMO. So, I didn’t notice Observe and Report.

But this morning, Melissa Silverstein of Women & Hollywood posted a column on her blog that made me notice — just not in a good way. Silverstein reports that she ran across some posts recently about the movie’s date rape scene, so she watched the trailer to see what all the fuss was about.

At this point, I left Silverstein’s blog for a minute and went to Trailer Addict to watch it myself. (I’m sorry, but I’m not even going to link directly to it.) You have to swear you’re over 17 to even watch the “red-band version” of the trailer, which is R-rated. But please, don’t bother. It’s disgusting and disturbing.

“Date rape” isn’t an overreaction. Anna Farris, who plays the woman Rogen’s character Ronnie rapes, described it as such in an interview with A.V. Club:

…when we were shooting [the film], even the date-rape scene — or as I refer to it, “The Tender Love-Making Scene” — I just thought, “We’ll shoot it, but it’s not gonna be in the movie. I don’t have to worry about that one.” And yet there it is.”

Even a reviewer who liked the movie described the scene this way:

[Director] Hill hits what seems like a bad-taste peak early on (Ronnie grinding away on top of an ostensibly unconscious alcohol-and-drug-addled, vomit-flecked Brandi) and just keeps climbing.

Seth Rogen and Anna Faris

I encourage you to read Silverstein’s blog and a post about the same subject at Tiger Beatdown. Follow the links; read the reviews; decide what you think.

But I say, without qualification: This is not OK. And I am very disappointed in Warner Bros. Pictures for releasing a film that makes rape a joke.

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