PG-13 Version of The King’s Speech Opens Today

No, this isn’t an April Fools’ Day prank. It was announced last week by The Weinstein Company that a “family-friendly” version of The King’s Speech would be released into theaters today, April 1, 2011. Nobody is crying censorship, obviously, but many, including me are wondering why. Let’s be perfectly clear: The King’s Speech is an R rated movie because it uses the f-word 12 times. The rule is no more than two f-words in a PG-13 movie and not one instance of the f-word used sexually. By those standards, The King’s Speech has earned it’s R rating. But, let me be clear, in all my years of living and seeing movies, I have never seen a more “light” R rated movie than The King’s Speech. In fact, I would have zero hesitation in taking my 12 year-old daughter to this remarkable film. I don’t think her viewing it will cause her to start dropping the f-bomb on a regular basis, nor do I think the hearing of said word gives her silent permission to do so. This is why we are parents – to teach, instruct and guide – and why we have frank discussions. No matter how hard we might want to hide our children from the world, they will be exposed one way or another. Open, frank communication beats the hell out of a security blanket any day.

I wondered how our pals at Kids-in-Mind ranked The King’s Speech (they rank movies on a scale from one to 10 on sex and nudity, violence and gore, and profanity). Here’s what I found, along with some recent releases by comparisson:

The King’s Speech (R): 1.1.6

Sucker Punch (PG-13): 5.7.4

Diary of a Wimpy Kid- Rodrick Rules (PG): 1.3.2

Limitless (PG-13): 6.7.5

So, regardless of it’s dozen fudge words, The King’s Speech is more on par with the PG Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie than it is with recent PG-13 movies chock full of violence, sexuality and other, apparently more harmless, uses of profanity. I’m amazed that one word can carry such stigma and I’m equally amazed that The Weinstein Company went forward with this re-release, especially since the same folks refused to re-cut the NC-17 Blue Valentine to an R rating because of artistic integrity. For shame, Harvey. For shame.

In the end, I think The King’s Speech star, Colin Firth, said it best:

It serves a purpose. I’m not someone who’s casual about that kind of language. I take my children to football [soccer] games. I hate hearing that kind of language in their ears, but I won’t deny them the experience of a live game. But in the context of the film, it couldn’t be more edifying, more appropriate. It’s not vicious or insulting. It’s not in the context that might offend.

Hopefully, Utahans, smack dab in the land of Just Say No to the R, will give the movie a chance in its original presentation and come to understand that many times ratings are just letters, not set-in-stone, revealed-from-the-heavens revelations on the morality of entertainment. They are opinions and mine is this was a bad, bad move to re-release as a PG-13 film.

5 comments On PG-13 Version of The King’s Speech Opens Today

  • I agree with Colin Firth. The movie doesn’t swear to be harsh or shocking or just to be “cool”. There is story and meaning behind it. The tv shows people watch are far more offensive than this movie.

  • While I wouldn’t go to war over the issue, it was pretty disappointing to hear about the re-release, and then downright sickening to see people I know say things like “Oh, now I can go see the King’s Speech now that it’s PG-13.”

    The 12 instances of the “eff word” in that movie were so innocuous, it played into the full picture of the movie. It is so ridiculous that some people around here will let the MPAA run their life and they’ll avoid cinema like The King’s Speech, but they’ll stand in line to go see Transformers 2 and ogle Megan Fox’s R-bordering boobage. Whatever.

  • This is pathetic. Why change a movie because people can’t get over the fact that there’s the f word in it? Like Jeannie said ‘there is story and meaning behind it’, it’s not like they are dropping the f bomb just to drop the f bomb. If people don’t see the movie that’s their problem. There is way worse on T.V. the internet, and PG-13 movies. But oh well it already done and there is nothing anybody can do about. Except write them one of those crazy fan letter things. Like the one that chick sent to the people who made that werewolf movie. Hilarious.

  • Finally, I can go see this movie now..

  • This is really cool however a R rating wouldnt have detured me from letting my kids see the movie. It was fabulous.

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