Good news, high schoolers: you won't have to buy a ticket for Lego Movie in order to sneak into The Other Woman. Why? Because The Other Woman will no longer be released with an R-rating. After the producers and star Cameron Diaz made their case to the Classification and Ratings Appeals Board of the MPAA, the board agreed to let the film be released as PG-13, without any cuts made to the feature.
Up until a few years ago, I never gave movie ratings much thought — I honestly thought that they were there to make sure that 6-year-olds didn't go and see Nymphomaniac. After watching a brilliant (and thoroughly entertaining) documentary called This Film Is Not Yet Rated, my eyes were opened to what place the ratings system has within the industry.
Basically, an R-rating — or worse, an NC-17 rating — means that a movie will be seen by fewer eyes. It could mean millions lost for a production because ticket sales simply aren't going to be bought by a chunk of the population. Sadly, the reason why the MPAA rates movies as R or NC-17 often has to do with a skewed perspective on what should be seen by mass audiences. For example, sexuality — if the film shows two people having sex in anything other than missionary position, you can bet that the film is receiving at least an R-rating. But movies with random bursts of violence that don't show the implications say, in a James Bond-type film? Totally fair game. For more specific examples, check out the film — it's well worth the watch.
It's a pretty big deal that the producers of The Other Woman were able to appeal their R-rating — I'm sure that 20th Century Fox is breathing a huge sigh of relief. That being said, The Other Woman is a major studio film. What about indie films who don't have as much pull over the MPAA? I'm hoping that the appeal of this rating makes it easier for other, small films to do the same.