Of the things fans of E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey have been anticipating, the MPAA rating probably ranks just behind who will play Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. Of course, we've known the answer to those two questions for quite some time now, but the rating has remained a mystery... until now. A month shy of the feature adaptation's highly anticipated arrival, the verdict is in and the MPAA has stamped an R rating on the movie, citing "graphic nudity" among the reasons.
Neither the rating, nor the reasons should come as a huge surprise to those who've read E.L. James' steamy novel. The series centers on a virginal college grad (Dakota Johnson) who's introduced to the world of S&M when she meets and falls for the dreamy but troubled billionaire, Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). The question wasn't whether or not the movie would include sexual content, as it would be virtually impossible to fairly adapt the book without treading into that territory. The question was (and is), just how graphic will the movie be? The sexual content in the book isn't exactly tame, and it's more graphic than one would expect from a typical R-rated movie, so there was some speculation that the movie might end up with an NC-17 rating.
Back in 2013, producer Dana Brunetti said the movie would likely be rated R, so this news is expected, and it's likely right on target. An R-rating ensures that Fifty Shades of Grey will get a wider release than it likely would have if it had earned itself an NC-17 rating, as theaters are sometimes hesitant to show NC-17 movies.
By comparison to the book, an R rating suggests that the adaptation won't be page-for-page when it comes to Ana and Christian going at it. But the reason for the rating does promise graphic nudity, strong sexual content "including dialogue" - oh my - and my favorite part, "some unusual behavior." I have to wonder what, exactly, they're trying to vaguely describe there, because a description like that is broad enough to apply to most movies in some way. Whether or not "unusual behavior" applies to Christian and Ana's sexual escapades or merely Ana's tendency to bite her lip when she's nervous is unknown.
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Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, Fifty Shades of Grey arrives in theaters February 13, 2015.
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Kelly joined CinemaBlend as a freelance TV news writer in 2006 and went on to serve as the site’s TV Editor before moving over to other roles on the site. At present, she’s an Assistant Managing Editor who spends much of her time brainstorming and editing feature content on the site. She an expert in all things Harry Potter, books from a variety of genres (sci-fi, mystery, horror, YA, drama, romance -- anything with a great story and interesting characters.), watching Big Brother, frequently rewatching The Office, listening to Taylor Swift, and playing The Sims.