“Unusual behavior” is part of the reason why the MPAA has given Fifty Shades of Grey, the first in a series of films based on E. L. James’ bestselling erotic novels, an R rating. While the studio may have been hoping for a more audience-friendly PG 13 and fans of the book initially believed the film would earn a NC-17 if it stuck close to the source material, the MPAA has weighed in with the official theatrical release rating.
Per the MPAA, Fifty Shades of Grey is rated R for “strong sexual content including dialogue, some unusual behavior and graphic nudity, and for language.”
Of course, if you’ve read the books or heard anything about the Fifty Shades franchise you know that “unusual behavior” has to do with the sexual preferences of the lead male character, Christian Grey, played by Jamie Dornan. Christian’s into S&M but while the screenwriter Kelly Marcel originally expressed a desire for the adaptation to earn an NC-17 because of what takes place in the novel, it was likely a more box office friendly PG-13 has been anticipated all along by the studio honchos.
We know from interviews that Dornan won’t be showing off a full frontal look at his private parts, but he did do a lot of research to prepare for the role including visiting a dungeon. “I’m an extremely liberal person, I don’t give a f***. If people are into that they’re into that,” explained Dornan in an interview with GQ. “By the way, if people make such a hoo-hah about the violence against women aspect of it, it’s far more common for men to be the submissive. And it’s consensual! There’s weirder sh*t than that. I think plane spotting is far weirder than S&M. That I really don’t get. I can understand why people are into S&M, but standing outside Heathrow Terminal 5 waiting for Ryanair to come in?”
You’ll have to wait until February 13, 2015 to see what the fuss is all about. Until then, we can all just speculate on how boundary-pushing the film’s “unusual behavior” actually is.
-By Rebecca Murray
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