Kevin Smith, everyone’s favorite oddball indie director, challenged the MPAA rating system for his new pic, “Zack and Miri Make a Porno,” and won a reduction from NC-17 to R.
The director of such hits as “Clerks,” “Jersey Girl,” “Dogma” and “Chasing Amy,” is no stranger to taking on the MPAA.
When “Clerks” first came out it, too, was given and NC-17 rating that Smith was able to alter to an R. And his Ben Affleck film “Jersey Girl” was shifted from an R to a PG-13.
With “Zack and Miri…,” Smith cast Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks as roommates who decide to make a porn film to get themselves out of debt.
“We didn’t set out to make an NC-17 film. That’s just commercial suicide,” Smith told The Associated Press.
The original rating would prohibit anyone under the age of 17 from ever seeing the film.
Now, teens can go with a parent — if the parent dares.
The Weinstein brothers are putting it out under their eponymous label, which is not only separated from the Weinstein’s original Miramax label, but is luckily no longer tied to Disney, which would no doubt love to be behind a porn film.
Co-star Katie Morgan, who has some fairly graphic sex scenes with Jason Mewes, is a well-known porn star.
The MPAA revised the rating after its appeals board viewed the film and decided it wasn’t as dirty as an NC-17 rating might convey.
“They felt it was rather sexually graphic. My point is, it was comically graphic. All the sex in the movie with the exception of one scene is very cartoonish, very campy,” Smith said. “It wasn’t designed to titillate.”
The appeals board, a separate panel from the ratings board, viewed the movie Tuesday, and Smith presented his arguments.
See the Associated Press story below: