G.B.F. – the new gay teen comedy by Jawbreaker director Darren Stein – was recently given an R rating, even though the film features no nudity, no violence and not even a single F-bomb. Writes Stein on his Facebook page: “I always thought of G.B.F. as a PG-13 movie, but we were given an R ‘For Sexual References’ while not having a single F-bomb, hint of nudity or violence in the film. Perhaps the ratings box should more accurately read ‘For Homosexual References’ or ‘Too Many Scenes of Gay Teens Kissing.’ I look forward to a world where queer teens can express their humor and desire in a sweet, fun teen film that doesn’t get tagged with a cautionary R.”
Rich Juzwiak from Gawker chimed in, saying: “In G.B.F., there aren’t even really suggestions of sex, just a few brief make-out scenes, which are filmed in medium shots with no visible tongue and barely parting lips. The couples (sometimes gay, sometimes straight) that kiss are always clothed (there’s a brief shot of the principal character’s abs at one point, and some guys in underwear at another). No one says “fuck” at all—two instances of that word will typically what earn a movie an R-rating… It seems like the MPAA is saying that kids need to be protected from discussions about being gay and guys kissing.”
NewNowNext notes that a small indie like G.B.F. probably can’t afford to appeal the MPAA’s rating, in the manner that Philomena and Wolf of Wall Street were recently able to do, but suggests that maybe a Kickstarter is in order.