PG-13: Drop The (F) Bomb

Over the past 15 years or so practically every major tentpole has been rated PG-13. Take a look at the top movies of the year and you’ll see apart for a few R-rated breakouts and G-rated animated films most of the biggest films are all PG-13 or the UK equivalent 12A.

f bomb

And one other trend I’ve noticed is the rise of PG-13 films that have one complete unnecessary instance of the word Fuck.

And man do I hate this trend. 

The official reasoning is it’s ok to have it once in a film without causing harm / offence. But that’s like saying you can only have one decapitation or gang rape in a movie – any more and people will get upset. It doesn’t make any sense! Surely once it’s in there it’s in there regardless of the frequency!

I would also argue that having the F-word just once in a movie is way more jarring than a film that is peppered with profanity. I don’t remember a lot of the swearing in most R-Rated movies because you get used to the pattern and flow of the dialogue but I always remember when the F-word is uttered in a PG-13 movie.

It doesn’t make sense that a charter would say it just once. It always makes me laugh that Judi Dench mutters the only F-word in Skyfall while reclining on a sofa but Bond and all the other characters who experience a lot more stress throughout the film don’t feel the compunction to swear! And so it sticks out like a sore thumb. It brings me out of the film and makes me think it’s a cynical tick box exercise.

Which is exactly what it is.

It’s a gutless move. It’s about film makers / distributors trying to have it both ways. They want the money from a PG-13 but also want the freedom of an R-Rated film. But sorry you can’t have it both ways – if you want to make an R-rated film here’s an idea MAKE AN R-RATED FILM!

So film makers and distributors get some guts and make the film you really want to make otherwise its time to drop the F-bomb.

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