Fifty Shades of Grey will be watched by 12 year olds in France. Despite the Americans and British giving the movie an R rating, the French have decided that the sexual scenes are not that bad. It has sparked debate, especially in the groups of people who believe that the movie will lead to sexual violence.
The highly anticipated movie Fifty Shades of Grey is an adaptation of the novel of the same name. The novel has already been translated into 50 different languages, including Turkish and Estonian, and this week the movie is finally hitting the big screen. Like the book, it will be available around the world, and each country has its own board to set the viewing age. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) already gave it an R rating. That means anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. The British Board of Film Classification kept the rating high at 18, so nobody under the age of 18 can see the movie in theaters.
The French decided that the movie was not that graphic after all. While 12 year olds can see the movie in America with adults, the French have decided they can see it with their friends. No adults need to accompany them. Only those under 12 have been banned from viewing the movie.
The Centre National du Cinema et de L’image Animee (CNC) decided that the 12 rating was suitable. 12 year olds will get to watch Fifty Shades of Grey, but the board was not unanimous in the decision. It turns out that some of the board wanted to get rid of the age restriction completely. Jean-Francois Mary stated that the board believed the film will not shock that many people due to the romance in it. However, the casualness of the sadomasochism led to the decision for the minimum age restriction.
Religious groups are already not happy with the movie, and will be disappointed with the French decision. The groups state that Fifty Shades of Grey degrades women and “endorses sexual violence.” Roman Catholic bishops have reportedly used it as a guide of what-not-to-do in marriage. The bondage and sadomasochism scenes have led to the National Center on Sexual Exploitation to push for boycotts. However, the movie is quickly selling out around the world. Spokeswoman for the center, Amanda Smith, stated that the book and movie glamorize violence against women. It tells women they should want this.
Author E.L. James has hit back at the critics, saying that it does not romanticize abuse. Rape and abuse are still wrong. The book is about two consenting adults, and is set in an environment that is very real. Everything in the book is “safe.” Director Sam Taylor-Johnson backed up that claim during the Berlin premiere, saying that it is a romance story at the heart of it all.
Movie-goers are certainly looking forward to it, since theaters are already selling out. However, different associations have different beliefs on age restrictions. While 12 year olds are not allowed to see Fifty Shades of Grey in Britain, they can in France.
By Alexandria Ingham