Movie ‘Eighth Grade’ fights R-rating with free screenings

August 8, 2018

The movie “Eighth Grade’ is winning critical praise and making money, but the film’s title audience may have a hard time seeing the movie.

The independent film, which is being labeled as one of the best films about adolescence, was given an R rating by the Motion Picture Association, which meant people under 17 would need a parent or guardian to buy their ticket.

Until Wednesday. The movie’s writer-director, Bo Burnham, is pusing back against the rating and screening the movie for free for people of all ages. One theatre in each state will show the movie on Wednesday.

The film’s site explains, “This Wednesday night. No ratings enforced. If you’ve been through eighth grade, ‘Eighth Grade’ is for you. This is not just adult content. This is Eighth Grade.”

Tickets will become available one hour before showtime.

The film earned its rating due to explicit language and a sexually charged scene featuring its main character watching YouTube videos to learn about oral sex.

The MPAA specifically outlines in its rating guidelines: “A motion picture’s single use of one of the harsher sexually derived words, though only as an expletive, initially requires a PG-13 rating. More than one such expletive requires an R rating, as must even one of those words used in sexual context.”

The rulebook allows for exceptions by special vote; “Eighth Grade,” with its five uses of “f---,” didn’t earn it an exemption.

After “Eighth Grade” came out, many criticized the rating. Some critics think the film could have a positive impact on teenagers, allowing them to relate to characters going through a complicated phase in their lives and opening dialogue about sex, bullying and self-image.

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