The Martian's Fucking PG-13 Rating

Ben Kuchera, Polygon:

This is a sticking point because a film's rating has much to do with its ability to make money: You don't need parents to see a movie rated PG-13, which means more people can see it, and those films tend to make more money. Wider audiences equals more bodies in seats, meaning more revenue.

If you've ever wondered why action films are edited down to PG-13 for the theater while the R-rated cut that makes it onto home video seems more like the version the director intended, that is the answer.

And you can only say "fuck" once in a PG-13 rated film. Say it twice? You're slapped with an R-rating.

I was aware of this rule, and I remember being confused by the two fucking instances of "fuck" in The Martian. That, coupled with a relatively realistic depiction of a puncture wound in the very beginning of the film, led me to believe that my eyes had deceived me and I was actually watching an R-rated film. Somewhere, someone must have fucked up the marketing materials, incorrectly listing it as PG-13, right?

Nope. Turns out that the MPAA exercised their discretion in a rare moment of rationality, and let the character express himself in a way that made sense, without punishing the film with a harsher rating than it deserved.

Now the question is: how many more films will we see in the not-too-distant future get the MPAA to give them a pass on that fucking word. Sort of like when South Park got to say "shit" for the first (162) time(s), and now the word is a staple on late night cable. These things tend to have a snowball effect. And why the fuck not? It's just a fucking word after all.

Fuck fuck.