Stargazing

Imagine this field trip: France letting 12-year-olds see ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

Parisians gather in front of a cinema playing "Fifty Shades of Grey" directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, inspired by the 2011 erotic romance novel by British author E. L. James, in Paris, France, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015. Children as young as 12 are heading to see the highly-anticipated erotic drama “Fifty Shades of Grey” in France on its release Wednesday, after the country’s film board decided against giving it an adult certificate.
Parisians gather in front of a cinema playing "Fifty Shades of Grey" directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, inspired by the 2011 erotic romance novel by British author E. L. James, in Paris, France, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015. Children as young as 12 are heading to see the highly-anticipated erotic drama “Fifty Shades of Grey” in France on its release Wednesday, after the country’s film board decided against giving it an adult certificate. Associated Press

Maybe “Fifty Shades of Grey” doesn’t live up to the hotness hype after all? Some of the first reviews suggest as much and apparently France doesn’t find it “inappropriate,” either.

The movie is rated R in the United States – anyone under 17 needs an accompanying parent or adult guardian to see it. But France gave it a PG-12 rating, meaning anyone 12 or older can see it.

That’s France’s second-most lenient movie rating.

France's classification president, Jean-Francois Mary, said the movie “isn't a film that ... can shock a lot of people,” according to the Associated Press.

Mary said the movie is “really a romance, we could even call it a bleuette — a sentimental tale.

“The director handled the sex scenes very skilfully and limited them to the bare minimum. It’s more the subject itself, this S&M relationship, which pushed us to restrict the movie for audiences under 12.”

Variety says the French rating underscores “the discrepancies in social mores throughout Europe.”

The movie received a much stricter rating in the United Kingdom, where no one under 18 is allowed to see.

The film has been banned in Malaysia, where it’s been deemed “too sadistic.”

Not everyone in France approves of the lenient rating. Some French journalists are livid.

Wrote Le Point magazine: “France will therefore be the only country to allow 13-year-old children to watch doggy-style sex scenes and other less conventional sexual behaviors in theaters.”

  Comments