Over at Cinematical today, they had a story about films that received MPAA ratings a bit too lenient. Did JAWS really deserve a PG? Shouldn’t THE DARK KNIGHT have been given an R?
One line in the story kind of bothered me:
Look at Can't Buy Me Love -- that has a few naked breasts in it, and it's rated PG-13.If there is one film I can call myself an expert on it is CAN’T BUY ME LOVE (I wrote about it here and here.). It is one of my favorites. I read everything about it when it was released.
If asked, I would be able to record an audio commentary for the DVD this afternoon with no research needed. I saw it multiple times in theatre, on VHS, laserdisc, on cable, on broadcast TV. I even remember the intro to it on THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISNEY where Michael Eisner talked with the Disney characters about the meaning of popularity.
And I can say without question:
There was no nudity in CAN’T BUY ME LOVE.
I posted a comment correcting the story, and before I heard back, I knew what the response was going to be, “the car scene”. I was right, that is what the writer said.
In the film there is a scene where Ronald (Patrick Dempsey) is in the car with Patty (Darcy DeMoss). She is trying to seduce him (“I happen to know...” you know the scene). She unhooks her bra. While Ronald sees something, the audience doesn’t.
The scene is so suggestive, I guess people (including the Cinematical writer) THOUGHT they see something. In fact, over on the IMDB message board, there is a thread, running over 200 replies, arguing about the scene.
Allow me to prove there is nothing there.
Here is a screengrab from the scene, from the full frame DVD. The letterboxed print, that airs on HD channels as well as A&E, crops the top and bottom of the frame (yes, I'm enough of a geek about the film I did a comparison) so this offers even more information, and even has more of a chance to show something.
See, there is nothing. The scene lasts 15 seconds, but you never see anything at the bottom of the frame.
As I mentioned, this is the film at 1.33 open matte. When it played in theatres, at 1.85, much of the top and bottom of the picture was cut off.
Having seen the film in every possible format, that is something you are likely to pick up on. You aren't just going to not notice nudity. Especially if you were a teenager.
And let’s remember something else, this was a Disney film. Released by Touchstone, but still part of the brand. Like I mentioned, it aired on THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISNEY!! Would they air a film that featured nudity on that show? Granted, they cut this scene entirely, but still.
The film received the PG-13 for one use of the F word (which was changed to “Funny” in the Disney TV version, and “Freakin” in other versions).
It is amazing that so many people think they see something in this scene. At one point, in the IMDB discussion, someone who claimed to have seen it was asked to provide a screengrab of the shot. He never posted again.
People like to cause trouble, but this is just an urban legend.
Let it end now.