FIFTY SHADES OF GREY Gets R-Rating for “Unusual Behavior”

     January 8, 2015


“Unusual behavior?”  I guess that’s one way to describe it.  The big screen adaptation of  E.L. James‘ bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey just got its MPAA rating and while the R-rating itself isn’t all that surprising, the MPAA’s reason for it is.  There’s issues like “strong sexual content” and “language,” but then there’s also this little bit about “unusual behavior.”

In case you’ve completely missed out on all the hype surrounding the book and the movie, Fifty Shades of Grey follows Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson), a college student who writes a school newspaper piece about the hot, young and insanely successful entrepreneur, Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan).  The two strike up a relationship and Anastasia comes to learn that Christian’s bedroom –   or playroom – habits include some “unusual behavior.”  Hit the jump for more.

fifty-shades-of-grey-jamie-dornanFirst, here’s the rating description via Box Office Mojo:

“strong sexual content including dialogue, some unusual behavior and graphic nudity, and for language.”

The whole “unusual behavior” thing is pretty amusing because we all know what the MPAA is referring to.  It’s almost as if they’re afraid to say it.

As for the R-rating, it’s not surprising, but does put the movie in a tough position.  On the one hand, the book did stem from Twilight fan fiction, so the R-rating basically knocks out that whole demographic.  Moviegoers under the age of 17 can go see it with an adult, but if that adult has to be a parent, that might be a bit awkward.

On the other hand, Fifty Shades of Grey is basically porn, or “mommy porn” as many have dubbed it.  Whatever you want to call it, that R-rating doesn’t allow for it.  Screenwriter Kelly Marcel did call her work an NC-17 script and producer Dana Brunetti told us he was interested in releasing two cuts of the film, an R-rated version and an NC-17 one, but there’s no confirmation on whether or not that’s actually happening, and it’s too bad because that could be one heck of a business opportunity.

Perhaps releasing an NC-17 and R-rated cut simultaneously wouldn’t be the smartest move, but if Focus hits it big with the February 13th release of the R-rated theatrical cut, the company could have diehard fans scrambling to see the film all over again by releasing an NC-17 version later on.


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