The Interwebs are all abuzz over the NC-17 rating on ‘Blue Valentine,’ the romantic drama starring Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling as a married couple in crisis. The Derek Cianfrance-directed film scored the rating because of an oral sex scene, and Gosling is none too happy about it.
“There’s plenty of oral sex scenes in a lot of movies, where it’s a man receiving it from a woman, and they’re R-rated,” he said in an interview posted on AceShowbiz.com . “Ours is reversed and somehow it’s perceived as pornographic. ‘Black Swan’ has an oral scene between two women and that’s an R rating, but ours is between a husband and his wife and that’s NC-17?”
Well, let’s face it, movie ratings aren’t always logical. Look at all the R-rated films with rampant violence and sexuality, and you wonder where the MPAA folks are coming from sometimes. As Gosling notes, “You start to think, ‘How is it possible that these movies that torture women in a sexual context can have an R rating but a husband and wife making love is inappropriate?”
An NC-17 rating may not seem like a big deal, but in the big picture, it could have negative consequences for the film in terms of both advertising and distribution. “It stigmatizes the movie in a big way,” says Gosling. “What we’re really saying is not that our kids can’t see this movie, but nobody can see this movie unless you live in a big city and there’s an art house theater.”
Ok, so here’s my take on it. I think Cianfrance should have changed the scene to drop it into what the MPAA peeps deem as an R rating. As Alfred Hitchcock is so famous for saying, what goes on in a moviegoer’s head is way more frightening or intense or imaginative than what they see on the big screen. So do we need a sex scene to be completely graphic to get what’s going on? I say no. Change the scene.
What say you, fair readers?