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Date rape is so funny we forgot to laugh

We’re still not sure why Seth Rogen and Anna Faris are America’s comedic sweethearts. We loved KNOCKED UP just as much as the next guy, but haven’t the overweight stoner and dumb blonde jokes been done to death? Well, they are America’s comedic sweethearts, which we guess is why Warner Brothers, plenty of movie critics, and much of America’s movie-goers have found the apparent date rape scene between these two stars in OBSERVE AND REPORT HI-larious.

From the looks of the rated-R trailer — she’s pounding shots, she’s throwing up, she’s unable to walk, she’s passed out, he’s having sex with her — it’s probably date rape, even if she comes to midway and groggily asks for more. But maybe the actual movie has some context we’re missing that makes it all okay…? Admittedly, we haven’t seen the the film, but assuming New York magazine’s Vulture is right, we’re not gonna see it, because according to them, there’s no other context: “It turns out that yes, by any reasonable standard of behavior, Seth Rogen’s character….totally rapes Faris’s…”

Sure, there’s been some criticism, mostly from those you’d expect (Feministing.com gave a Feminist Fuck You to Seth Rogen on Friday, though why they let Faris off scott free is beyond us). But before it hit theaters this past Friday, there seemed to be a lot of the love for this movie, including this scene: The New York Times review of the movie suggested that slurs in the middle of a blackout equal informed consent; New York magazine’s profile of Faris called the scene “their instant-classic seduction-and-sex sequence”; USA Today called it merely “a boozy date”; Starpulse.com called it a “crazy LOVE scene” [our emphasis]; in that article Anna Faris herself said she only agreed to do the scene because she thought there was no way the studio would ever allow it in the movie, but is now “…grateful that the movie is unapologetic”; and in that New York mag profile, she said of the scene: “It kind of gives you pause. It’s like date rape…. Like, hmmm, that’s funny, uh, right?”

Uh, wrong. We understand that it’s a black comedy, but when 1 in 6 women is sexually assaulted in her lifetime, and binge drinking is a way of life for college kids, and America’s comedic sweethearts are making rape look like harmless “boozy” fun in a big studio movie, it’s kinda hard for us to laugh. Maybe — hopefully — all the laughter in the theaters (like at the SXSW screening) is really just nervous laughter, which by definition comes more from discomfort and alarm than actual amusement.

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