Sunday, October 25, 2009

Breaking Dawn: Blood, Sex, and the MPAA

Warning: Some book spoilers for Breaking Dawn in this article.

I came across this article in the LA Examiner today, detailing some issues that will need to be addressed in the transition of Breaking Dawn from book to screen. We're all a little concerned about how the content will make it, but let's just look at what the writer of this article had to say.
"The fourth and final book by Stephenie Meyer has explicit sex scenes and graphic birth descriptions full of blood, spine cracking and of course, biting, which is exactly what Rob Pattinson fans are desperately craving. But due to the gruesome and erotic nature of the story, readers may need to just stick to the pages if they want to imagine Edward and Bella Cullen properly consecrating their wedding nuptials. And although sex education and delivery room videos are arguably necessary within the confines of an outdated health class, Summit Entertainment finds no need to fully adapt the shockingly illustrative chapters."
First of all, did we read the same book? Which explicit sex scene is she talking about? Put down the fan-fiction! I can agree on the childbirth, the arrival of Renesmee is definitely graphic.

So, let's talk about the decision to stay PG-13. I don't think any of us are surprised. No way is Summit going to do anything to prevent a large piece of their target audience from attending the movie. However, if you are concerned about the impact of the rating on the content, let's look at some examples of other PG-13 movies.

From the MPAA, "There may be depictions of violence in a PG-13 movie, but generally not both realistic and extreme or persistent violence." So, it can be realistic, just not too long, or long, but not very realistic. Judging even just from the ballet scene, I don't think there's going to be a problem creating the severeness of the moment, with enough blood and craziness to back it up, and still remain comfortably within the PG-13 Rating. Keep in mind that the Lord of the Rings movies are PG-13, as are The Ring, Serenity, and Wyatt Earp.

Also from the MPAA: "More than brief nudity will require at least a PG-13 rating, but such nudity in a PG-13 rated motion picture generally will not be sexually oriented." Nudity means naughty bits, and you can show an awful lot of skin without naughty bit exposure. Again, it's also about ratio, they more covered the bits are, the more prolonged you can make the sensual moment. But then, you really didn't think you were going to get a good look at Rob's...assets...anyway, did you? And if you're worried we will miss those moments entirely, let me name some smexy PG-13 movies: Titanic, Ghost, and Pearl Harbor.

So never fear, my dear Twi-hards, we'll get some goodness, I promise.


Anonymous said...

As I recall, Titanic not only had the steamy scene in the car, but also blatant "naught bits" of Kate Winslet. NUDITY, not implied. I agree completely about movies like The Ring as well. Violent enough for me to have disturbing dreams--don't think BD would need to go overboard to get the points across.

Anonymous said...

Okay, Year One. Nuff said. PG-13? Easy. Some PG-13 movies managed to keep that rating even though they were even worse than Breaking Dawn's book. It's sad actually. I mean all of those teeny movies that are wayyy inapropriate managed to keep PG-13 rating, i'm SURE they should be able to fins a way to keep this movie in that catogory as well. And I've read the book- reread the whole series like 3 times. And, if you recall, the movie is from BELLA'S point of view, so she's not watching what is happening, so keep it from HER point of view during the birth scence, or have the camera downstairs and hear screaming or whatever upstairs. Be creative, there are MANY ways to fidure this out!