Two conservative Christian groups have launched a legal action arguing that the US production featuring foul-mouthed and sex-mad food as its characters should be pulled and then reclassified as an adult film.
Lawyers acting for Promouvoir and Action for Human Dignity argued it should be given a 16 rating, meaning it was banned for anyone under 16, rather than its current 12 rating.
Andre Bonnet, the lawyer for Promouvoir, said the trailer did not reveal the real content of the film and seemed designed to trick children into seeing things that were not suitable for them.
This case was a “question of civilisation and of protecting the whole of society,” he argued in court in Paris.
Since the film had received an 'R' rating for its US release in August, which excluded unaccompanied children under 17, France should follow suit, they argued.
He was particularly critical of “a staggering orgy” at the end of the film featuring fruits, condiments and other edible items which are depicted performing sex acts.
In one shot, a pack of cornflakes can be seen making “brutal back-and-forth motions”, he said, and is heard exclaiming “You like that, slut?”
Representing the culture ministry, Jacques Molinie objected that no one was being forced to see the film.
“One of the aims of the film is to criticise the consumer society in a humorous way,” he said, adding that religion had also been targeted.
“Yes, the language is crude but look at the protagonists,” he said. The “grotesque, crazy” tone of the film made it clear that it was not presenting itself as realistic, he insisted.
The US production, which features the voices of Seth Rogen, James Franco, Salma Hayek and Jonah Hill in the original version, was released in France on November 30.
Promouvoir has brought other cases to court in the past, objecting to the adult content of films such as “Blue is the Warmest Colour” and controversial Danish director Lars von Trier's “Antichrist.”
The court is expected to rule on the case on Wednesday.