Cruel Intentions represents a mostly-dead breed of movie. The sex thriller has mainly gone the way of the dinosaur: viewable only in museums or in poor renderings that make a mockery of the grandeur of the original. If Fatal Attraction is a T. Rex, then whatever is happening now is basically a chicken. You get the idea. And though the leads of Cruel Intentions are nominally teens, it's a movie with adult themes. Sex plays a central role in the plot and resolution of the movie.
So why did this type of movie cease to really exist anymore? Maybe we've become culturally more enlightened, or at least more puritanical, but now our multiplexes are filled with found-footage horror and superhero sagas. You could point to shows like Game of Thrones or Mad Men, both of which see their plots launched by libidinous desires outside society's expectations — incest and infidelity, respectively — but those are not movies. (It's also worth noting that they're commonly accepted as two of the greatest entertainments of the television era. Whatever, beside the point.)
We include this wild preamble to lead up to this appalling fact: Cruel Intentions still finds itself censored when it runs on cable. And we don't mean the constant and gratuitous cocaine use. We mean the same-sex kiss between Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair.
That would be this scene.
E!, which recently ran the movie, did so without the scene included in the cable run. EW reports that the copy E! used was an old, censored version that the company didn't review before running — and that it would have run with the scene intact, had staffers watched it first. Yes, this is a minor controversy. But it's still worth noting that even though the movie is old enough to vote, it hasn't yet shaken censorship.
We'll take the movie's longevity as a testament to the power of camp. Or at least to the power of not watching cable versions of things. Something like that.
Oh, and the movie will be coming to TV as a show at some point. We'll see about the kiss then.