The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has given It’s Complicated an ‘R’ rating. Speculation is that the rating is for Steve Martin and Meryl Streep smoking marijuana. If true, the MPAA is decidedly out of touch with the pulse of the nation. Marijuana is legal for medical use in many states in America. Yet the MPAA placed It’s Complicated in the same group as films with heavy violence and/or graphic sexual coupling.
Joan Graves, the chairwoman of the film industry’s Classification and Rating Administration, declined to comment on It’s Complicated, citing internal policy barring the public discussion of a specific picture. Anonymous sources suspect that what earned It’s Complicated its ‘R’ is the use of illegal drugs by consenting adults with no negative consequence depicted in the film.
The core of the problem is that the MPAA has no publicly accessible criteria and no oversight whatsoever. The entire process is shrouded in secrecy. They can rate any movie however they like with absolutely no accountability. I was appalled after I watched This Film is Not Yet Rated. The MPAA will not tell filmmakers why they hand down any given rating. They intentionally leave producers wondering as to what the specific rules of the ratings game actually are. Does that seem like fair dealing to you?