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‘Cooler’ discourse heats up

Love, ratings dominate screening's Q&A

“The Cooler” helmer Wayne Kramer, stars Maria Bello and Ron Livingston chatted about the heart of the Las Vegas-based love story with moderator Pete Hammond following Wednesday’s ArcLight unspooling as part of the Variety Screening Series.

The drama deals with an unlucky man, played by William H. Macy, who is able to spread his misfortune with his presence. When he falls for Bello’s character, his fortune changes.

“It’s about the risk involved with love,” Livingston said. “That’s why the Vegas metaphor works so well. It’s about the gamble of having to put yourself out there and possibly being destroyed.”

The pic was originally rated NC-17 for sexual content, then got an R rating after Kramer cut 1 ½ seconds.

“I don’t think it was the pubic hair that got the NC-17,” Kramer said. “I think it was the frank depiction of adult sexuality. I think a lot of it is the way the scene makes you feel. They (the MPAA) don’t want to feel anything authentic.”

“Well, I think it’s safe for America now,” Hammond deadpanned.

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