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Porno comedy gets ratings reprieve | Reuters

LOS ANGELES "Clerks" director Kevin Smith has made a porn movie the whole family can watch.

His racy comedy, "Zack and Miri Make a Porno," successfully appealed its restrictive NC-17 rating, and will be released on October 31 with an R rating, which allows viewers under 17 to see it as long as they are accompanied by an adult, distributor Weinstein Co. said on Wednesday.

Films tagged with an NC-17 are off limits to anyone aged 17 and under, and generally disappear at the box office. No NC-17 films have been released since 2005, according to the Motion Picture Assn of America, which administers the ratings system.

"Zack and Miri Make a Porno" stars Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks as roommates and platonic friends who make a pornographic film to escape ruinous debt. But they soon find out creating a porno is more emotionally complicated than they had expected.

It was initially given an NC-17 rating for "some graphic sexuality." The MPAA said it overturned the rating on Tuesday, after hearing statements from Smith and Weinstein Co. attorney Alan Friedman.

"This is a great day for Kevin Smith fans and we are grateful that the MPAA's appeals board was able to overturn what we felt was an unwarranted and overly restrictive rating," Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of the Weinstein Co, said in a statement.

Even with an R rating, the filmmakers still face numerous marketing restrictions aimed at protecting youngsters. The biggest R-rated comedy in the last Rio Petite 10 years was 2005's "Wedding Crashers," which made $209 million, and ranks No. 80 among all-time movies, according to tracking firm Box Office Mojo. It incidentally featured a cameo by Republican presidential contender John McCain.

Two of Smith's previous comedies, "Clerks" and the 2004 "Jersey Girl," also had their original MPAA rating overturned by the appeals board, the Weinstein Co. said. "Clerks" ended up with an R rating and "Jersey Girls" got a PG-13, which warns that "some material may be inappropriate for children under 13."

(Editing by Dean Goodman)

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