The highly-debated and highly-irrelevant-to-normal-people Fifty Shades of Grey movie has been subject to much speculation and entirely too many Change.org petitions (BTW, isn’t that site supposed to be for actual causes?). One of the only things that has admittedly crossed my mind more than once: because of its enormous fanbase, will this film accept the risk of using actual sex and become mainstream regardless?
Short answer: No. Long answer: No, of course not, because if anything were to cut into the profits of major motion picture companies who are a-okay with showing people being blown up, shot and raped, but — now, that would be devastating. The filmmakers have made it clear they will not be putting enough sexual content in the film to earn an NC-17 rating.
“Historically, the NC-17 rating has dramatically impacted box office. It’s the kiss of death in most cases,” says Kirby Dick, director of This Film Is Not Yet Rated. If you are interested in the United States’ rating system and haven’t see TFINYR, you totally should — it’s a great documentary that delves into the irrational decisions of the MPAA’s arbitrary decision-making processes. But could it be that viewers are the ones uncomfortable with sex?
“In the end, people are still uptight and nervous about sexuality in movies,” says Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke, whose focus groups for her upcoming movie Plush revealed an awkward response from audience members.
Most movies know the proverbial death sentence an NC-17 rating has on it, but Fifty Shades is remarkably popular. If the moviemakers wanted to utilize real sex in their scenes, they could do so and still sell millions of tickets with the knowledge that readers will flock regardless of the graphic stuff. Unfortunately, they will not be, but it is their creative right to choose that so I can’t be too irritated, I suppose. I just wish that large-scale films wouldn’t tiptoe so much around sex (i.e. one of the most natural things humans can do) while a movie can depict murder and still get a PG-13 rating.
Photo: DavidMartynHunt / Flickr