'Blue Valentine' Gets Its NC-17 Rating Changed To An R

Blue ValentineEarlier today, I posted an exclusive clip from the upcoming Ryan Gosling-Michelle Williams romantic drama "Blue Valentine" and lamented the fact that the film's NC-17 rating could severely limit its audience and potentially sabotage its awards prospects. Well, Gosling, Williams, the Weinstein Co. and anyone interested in seeing this flick in a theater can breath a sigh of relief.

Following a personal appeal from studio chief Harvey Weinstein, the MPAA has gone ahead and reversed its decision, changing the NC-17 it dealt "Blue Valentine" in October to a much more audience-friendly R, according to Variety.

The film had been hit with the NC-17 due to what the MPAA called a "shocking, gory depiction of a dying marriage"... which roughly translates to "a sex scene in which Gosling performs oral sex on Williams."

But according to Deadline, the MPAA ratings board unanimously voted to overturn their previous decision today. Perhaps they were swayed by arguments that other films featuring equally explicit oral sex scenes -- including the recently released critical darling "Black Swan" -- have received an R rating. Or perhaps they were just in the holiday spirit.

Whatever the case, the brand-spanking-new R rating means that 'Blue Valentine" can run promos on TV and run in national theater chains when it's released on December 31 -- two things it would not have been able to do with an NC-17. The fact that all this ratings ballyhoo has stirred up a ton of free PR for the film is just icing on the cake.

Are you glad "Blue Valentine" got its R rating? Tell us in the comments!