After losing an MPAA appeal to defeat a R-rating, Columbia Pictures will be recutting James L. Brooks' upcoming romantic comedy "How Do You Know" starring Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson and Paul Rudd.

The film was slapped with a R-Rating a few weeks ago, evidently because of three f-bombs utilized in the pic, and having lost the appeal to overturn the ruling, Columbia will be trimming two "fucks" so they can secure a more audience-friendly PG-13 rating (i.e. maximizing the amount of asses in seats). Apparently a PG-13 film can get away with one f-bomb, but three is too much. Whatever.

While many of James L. Brooks early films were R-rated ("Broadcast News"), the recent ones -- "As Good As It Gets," "Spanglish" -- were not, and the move is hardly a shock as studios are much more mindful these days of ratings in a cost-cutting era when dramedies are usually forced to have a 40-million dollar budget ceiling. Also it's a film that lands during Christmas and no one wants to put out an R-rated rom-com around the holiday season.

If anything the mild conservatism on display from the notoriously tight-wadded MPAA does not bode well for the NC-17 appeal by "Blue Valentine," but that issue might be all together entirely different

"How Do You Know" centers on a love triangle between Witherspoon (a former athlete), Wilson (a baseball player) and Rudd (a corporate guy) and also co-stars Jack Nicholson. Scheduled for a December 17 release, "How Do You Know" will hit theaters with a PG-13 rating, but if two f-bombs are the only issue, we assume it's not going to affect the quality of the film either way. [Variety]