Saturday, March 10, 2007

Fuck: A Documentary: Grade B


Fuck: A Documentary (2005)

Drew Carey, Billy Connolly, Janeane Garofalo, Bill Maher, Miss Manners, Hunter S. Thomson, Benjamin Bradlee, Pat Boone, Sam Donaldson, Alan Keyes, linguist Geoffrey Nunberg, and on film clips: Eddie Murphy, George Carlin, Lenny Bruce; and many others. Director: Steve Anderson.

This is a very silly film, celebrating the “dirtiest word,” for Americans, at least, with some very funny people, whether professional comedians, persons on the street, or unintentionally funny “defenders of standards.” You definitely will laugh out loud (unless you have a stunted sense of humor). Unlike “The Aristocrats,” this movie tries to be more than just comedically vulgar. The organizing principles for the interviews are the censorship policies of the FCC, first amendment rights to free speech, and changing cultural mores. Those themes are important, but the investigation of free speech is one-sided and shallow, making it seem pretentious or maybe just an afterthought. This is not a meaningful documentary about free speech, yet at the same time, there is no in-depth exploration of how the F-word is used (e.g., what does “fuck off” even mean, really?), so in the end, the film is not satisfying, but entertaining nevertheless.

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