What can you learn from Fuck, Steve Anderson’s documentary about the English language’s most notorious and verboten four-letter word? That the term is quite versatile, as it can be employed as a noun, verb, or adjective! It not only refers to sexual intercourse, but can also be used negatively as an angry utterance, or as a means of amplifying one’s statement! These and other nuggets of blatant obviousness are available throughout Anderson’s pointless nonfiction examination of the word, the kind of gimmicky endeavor that cloaks its juvenile interest in having celebs say “fuck” ad nauseam by pretending to be an examination of the First Amendment and historical and social mores. Barely bothering with the term’s origins (which, despite myths about it being an acronym for “Fornicate Under Consent of the King,” remains unknown) and delivering only a perfunctory discussion about the word’s standing as a symbol of an ongoing cultural war between everything-goes free-speech advocates and bible-thumping conservative moralists, the film is really just an excuse to hear people like Janeane Garofalo, Bill Maher, Dennis Prager, Pat Boone, Ice-T, Billy Connolly, the late Hunter S. Thompson, and others celebrate the titular word as the greatest of all English language expletives or denounce it as the embodiment of our coarsening culture. Profane scenes from popular movies, clips of animals doing the nasty, quotes from Shakespeare and the Good Book, and concert footage of foul-mouthed icons Lenny Bruce and George Carlin (lionized as trailblazers of human expression) all complement the copious interviews and Bill Plympton animated segments, with the film giving ample time to competing viewpoints even as it ham-fistedly makes clear its own pro-fuck position. Cutesy, cursory, and—despite a few occasionally witty comments from its talking head cast—thoroughly empty, Fuck mainly serves as the latest example of the atrocious devolution of mainstream documentary filmmaking into hollow aesthetic flash and superficial sensationalism.
- 93 min
- Steve Anderson
- Janeane Garofalo, Bill Maher, Dennis Prager, Pat Boone, Ice-T, Billy Connolly, Hunter S. Thompson, Steven Bochco, Drew Carey, Chuck D., Sam Donaldson, Ron Jeremy, Alan Keyes, David Milch, Alanis Morissette, Tera Patrick, Kevin Smith
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