The F Word, the first romantic comedy from Ontario-born Goon and Fubar director Michael Dowse, got a warm reception at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Variety used such F words as “fresh” and “funny” to describe the feature, which was snapped up for distribution by CBS Films.
As the Zoe Kazan/Daniel Radcliffe romance gears up for a late-summer release, one major change has been made: the title. In what some are calling an uncommon move for the North American market, the film’s titillating title has been scrubbed down for the United States, where it will be called What If.
“In the movie business, things change every day,” says Frank Mendicino, senior vice-president, marketing, of Canadian distributor eOne. “We love this title [The F Word] and we love this film, and feel that the title really is in the spirit of the movie, a romantic comedy for the generation of today.”
Producer David Gross says cross-country name changes are fairly common, but to have different titles in Canada and the U.S. is rare. “The [Motion Picture Association of America] wanted a PG-13 rating” for the film, he explains, which led to the name change.
Is Gross worried about confusion? “I don’t think it’ll be a problem,” he says. The Canadian title, he adds, “is a double entendre that’s slightly salacious, and that’s the humour of the film. But the F word in question here is definitely friendship.” The F Word opens Aug. 1.