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?
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
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...
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...