- Greta Gerwig’s Barbie adaptation pushed the boundaries of a PG-13 rating with a censored f-bomb from President Barbie, appealing more to older adults than children.
- Despite being marketed as family-friendly, the movie’s mature humor and social themes resonated with audiences of all ages and received massive acclaim from critics.
- Another uncensored f-bomb was planned for the beginning of the movie, spoken by Helen Mirren’s unseen narrator.
Barbie director Greta Gerwig reveals that a second f-bomb almost made the finished film, but was ultimately cut out. Near the movie’s end, President Barbie (Issa Rae) blurts out a censored curse word with the Mattel logo covering her mouth, marking the closest Barbie gets to a borderline-R-rated moment. The line was quite surprising, but embodied the PG-13 nature of the comedy.
In an interview with CinemaBlend, Gerwig explains that there was another use of the f-word that narrator Helen Mirren would’ve uttered in Barbie. However, the line was removed from the finished cut. Check out what she says on the matter below:
Suffice to say, there was a sort of extended joke with Marie Curie, which didn’t end up being part of (the final cut). But yes, there was a page-one f-bomb that sort of set the tone for the whole thing. What the line was, it was actually Helen Mirren saying to Marie Curie, ‘Pipe the f-ck down, Marie Curie!’ That was like my favorite (line). … But we knew we only got one f-bomb, and we were like, ‘Let’s use it at the very beginning.’ And there’s just something, to me, (about) Helen Mirren saying, ‘Pipe the f-ck down, Marie Curie.’ The audio’s there, the, ‘Pipe the f-ck down,’ in a proper, British voice. But it was something in the editing that didn’t end up making the cut. That was, I would say, the line that everyone was like, ‘Oh, no, no, no, no.’
Greta Gerwig’s Barbie Wasn’t Afraid Of Pushing The Boundaries of A PG-13 Rating
The Barbie brand is usually synonymous with small children, and the brand’s previous animated films have always been aimed at kids. However, Gerwig’s Barbie adaptation isn’t afraid of doing something completely different and making a version of the character that older adults could enjoy more than children. The movie contains provocative jokes, but none are as surprising as the curse Rae’s President Barbie utters during its climax.
Even while the swear was censored, many critics bluntly stated that Barbie wasn’t destined for kids or even young teens. Nevertheless, its PG-13 humor is also part of why the movie received massive acclaim from critics and audiences, who qualified Barbie as an audacious adaptation of the famous Mattel doll. The humor wasn’t afraid of being mature, and its universal social themes may resonate with older audiences more than children.
It’s especially interesting to see how there was another, likely uncensored, swear planned for the movie, and at the beginning of it, too, which would’ve drastically set the tone that Barbie may not be appropriate for kids. It was indeed marketed as a family-friendly venture, but its f-bombs did show that it wasn’t afraid to go above and beyond a PG-13 rating and push the boundaries of what would constitute a Barbie movie. In the end, Gerwig put a clever spin on a property that many believed to be one-dimensional.