US: Film board condemned for giving gay drama ‘R’ rating

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The US film ratings board has been accused of homophobia, after a gay drama was handed an R certificate.

Love Is Strange, which features an elderly gay couple played by John Lithgow and Alfred Molin, has been handed a Restricted rating by the Motion Picture Assiociation of America – meaning it is only suitable for 17 and overs – despite not containing nudity, sex or violence.

The only reason given for the film’s high rating is its swearing.

The same rating was handed to the recently-released Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, which earned its rating with multiple scenes of violence, and graphic gore, as well as the explicit Jersey Shore Massacre.

Film critic Stephen Witty wrote of Love Is Strange for the New Jersey Star-Ledger: “There is no nudity. There are no sexual situations. The drug or alcohol material mostly consists of adults having wine with dinner, or cocktails at a bar.

“There is no violence or gore. There are several scenes of men kissing, and two scenes of a gay couple sleeping together, fully clothed, in bed. It is rated R.

“The MPAA movie ratings are supposed to provide information on a movie’s content, so parents can decide whether or not it’s suitable for their children.

“If there’s an equivalence among these thee films, and their equal unsuitability for anyone under 17, it’s lost on me — and, I suspect, on anyone but the censors at the MPAA.”

“It is very hard to imagine that — if it starred, say, Robert Duvall and Jane Fonda as a similar long-time couple suddenly facing homelessness — it would be lumped in with movies crammed full of queasily stylish sexism and sickening torture porn.”

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