Take the 2-minute tour ×
Movies & TV Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for movie and tv enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

While rewatching Mr and Mrs Smith, there is only one instance where the f-word is used. There are several other movies (I can't recall any other at the moment) where f-word is used only once. Is there a reason for this?

share|improve this question
2  
X-Men 1st class - Hugh Jackman? –  Liath Feb 4 at 17:24
1  
@Liath that is one of the best examples. –  topher Feb 5 at 22:08
1  
"Lincoln" had two F-bombs (both spoken by James Spader) and was PG-13, yet "Big" from 1988 had an F-bomb but was rated PG. Guess they were more lax back then. –  Lee M. Mar 21 at 6:21
    
Recently I've observed this in Seth Rogen's "The Guilt Trip". –  chaitanya89 Mar 21 at 7:05
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 21 down vote accepted

In order for a film to get a 12A or PG-13 rating, it cannot contain gratuitous use of profanity:

One 'Fuck' is allowed, anymore and it automatically becomes a 15 or R rated.

That article features a very humorous piece of meta-textuality, referring to the Movie Be Cool, in which budding film producer Chili Palma states:

“Do you know that unless you're willing to use the R rating, you can only say the 'F' word once? You know what I say? Fuck that. I'm done."

For the rest of the film, several characters come close to using the word "fuck" but are cut off or censored in some way before they can.

Be Cool is a PG-13...

Othes that hold back the F-Bombs for certification purposes include:

  • Crazy Stupid Love
  • Larry Crowne
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  • Big
  • Beetlejuice

However...

Recently there has been room for discretion, as the MPAA has stated that:

if two-thirds of the ratings board members believe that multiple F-words are used in a legitimate 'context or manner' or are 'inconspicuous,' then the movie could still be rated PG-13.

However, the biggest gripe the MPAA/BBFC/Other variants have is the use of the word Fuck in a sexual context, or as a verb: as in "I'm going to fuck you". Even hint at this, and its...

enter image description here

and so the following films use more than one 'Fuck' but still received a PG-13:

  • The Social Network
  • The Tourist
  • The Adjustment Bureau
  • Iron Man 2
  • Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

There is clearly more and more room for discretion, but I guess it's not really worth the risk/re-edit for some people...

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks. The link is particularly informative. This question was prompted by John Smith and answered by John Smith. –  topher Feb 1 at 23:25
    
I seem to be 'The Fucking Master' of this site. I should add it to my areas of interest. –  John Smith Optional Feb 1 at 23:26
    
Wow, that question seemed a bit strange at first, but this answer gives it a whole lot of substance. –  Napoleon Wilson Feb 1 at 23:47
2  
Super 8 has a great example of the Precision F-Strike (TV tropes warning). It is said by Donny, the guy who drives them to the school before getting wasted in the car. He panics when he sees them being carted away by the military and follows. When he catches up to them, standing beside an overturned bus, he first expresses great relief that they are alive, then noticing the trashed bus, he asks "What the F---?!?". It was classic. :) –  Andrew Thompson Feb 2 at 4:44
    
I'll back this up with a comment about the writer creating the universe and the characters. If the writer doesn't feel that the character would use a F-bomb in a scene, then they wont write dialogue for the character, in that scene, which uses an F-bomb. –  Jamie Taylor Feb 5 at 16:47
add comment

protected by Community Mar 21 at 13:28

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.