Critics Question Gay Romance's 'R' Rating
There's no sex or violence in Love Is Strange
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Aug 23, 2014 3:31 PM CDT
This Jan. 18, 2014, file photo shows cast members John Lithgow, left, and Alfred Molina, right, posing at the premiere of the film "Love is Strange."   (Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP)

(Newser) – You won't see any sex or violence in the new R-rated film Love Is Strange. What you will see is a love story between two men—which has critics wondering whether homophobia might explain the MPAA's rating decision. The movie is about a couple who must live apart after decades together. Yet critics have observed that it's received the same rating as the new Sin City movie, which contains violence, drugs, and nudity, and Jersey Shore Massacre, which is packed with gore, the Guardian notes.

"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," writes Stephen Whitty in the Star-Ledger. The MPAA tells the Wrap: "The descriptor that accompanies the film's rating notes that it is rated R for language—as is any film that includes the same level of strong language, regardless of subject matter." But the MPAA has been known to show "considerable leeway on language" in other instances, Whitty notes.

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Showing 3 of 94 comments
K.C.
Aug 24, 2014 7:59 PM CDT
I want to point out something here. The word, phobia, means fear. Now the Bible tells us there is no sin that is not common to all humanity. So it seems eminently reasonable to me that people who genuinely are phobic about homosexuality are probably subconsciously reacting to the nugget of it inside themselves. Since we all have that nugget, this is not a license to mistreat people who are taken over by it.
Ucantusethatname
Aug 24, 2014 5:19 PM CDT
Because you believe in heterosexuality and marriage does mean you are homophobic. Neither does opposing homosexuality in film mean you are homophobic. Pro-heterosexuality is pro-heterosexuality. Period. How interesting that in 2014 you are regarded as phobic if you are pro-heterosexuality. On December 14, 1973, homosexuality was regarded as a mental disorder. But on December 15, the American Psychiatric Association cured millions of homosexuals by declaring they were no longer mentally ill. Why doesn't the medical community use the same approach to cure ALS, AIDS, and cancer?
Beverly Flynn
Aug 24, 2014 2:44 PM CDT
Had to check this out for myself. For the Liam Neeson movie "Taken" it was rated: "Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, disturbing thematic material, sexual content, some drug references and language" I check it against the Robin Williams Gay Comedy "The Birdcage" and sure enough "Rated R for language" What a crock; the people comprising the MPAA are nothing but homophobes. In this day and age.....and in Hollywood no less. Like thinking people don't care what the rating is; all they need to know is that it's a about gay couple. For them, "nuf said"