Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

In director Steve Anderson's documentary 'Fuck' which examines the history, the stigma and meaning behind this simple four letter word, as well as they hypocrisy that it can bring, he has a blurb from one of his many talking heads in television producer Steven Bocho.  Bocho of course is famous for pushing the edge of television with his gritty long running network drama 'NYPD Blue', stated that nobody's ever died using the word fuck.  Now I have no concrete proof of this, but I'm pretty sure he's wrong about that.  In the parallel history of the word fuck and the history of guns, I'm willing to bet my last bottom dollar that at some point in time, at least once, two people, both holding guns got into a fierce argument that was punctuated with one of the persons saying 'FUCK YOU!' and the other one shooting him to death.  Yes, I'm fairly certain that the word fuck has caused a death or two in the history of the world.

'Fuck' is an interesting if not a somewhat meandering documentary featuring man on the street interviews, numerous celebrities such as Drew Carey, Ms. Manners, Pat Boone, and Kevin Smith among others, and homages to controversial comedians Lenny Bruce and George Carlin.  Anderson explores the origination of the word (no one knows), the phenomenal flexibility of the word in that it can be used as a verb in almost any tense, noun, adjective, or adverb.  Hell, I think it can even be used as a preposition, conjunction and an integer as well.  Naturally we have two sides of the aisle with with those who use the word quite freely and see very little wrong with it.  Singer Alanis Morisette (She does still sing doesn't she?) even went so far as to say that not using the word fuck illustrates that you're socially retarded or something.  Gee Alanis, I don't know if I'd go that far.  I mean I use the word fuck quite on occasion, but I hardly ever use a word like, hell I don't know... cornucopia.  And I’m about as socially retarded as they come.  Or something.  On the other side, among others we have

conservative commentator Alan Keyes who in between losing presidential bids should do stand up.  Seriously.  Dude is simply hilarious.  Keyes is blessed with one of the sharpest minds and quickest wits that the media has to offer.  I don't dig his politics but I love his brain.  In those farciful presidential debates Keyes always wipes the floor with the competition only to get -.8% of the vote.

Pat Boone though was like the star of thing for me, I tell you, as he suggest folks be more creative instead of using vulgarity like the word fuck.  For instance instead of saying go fuck yourself, instead say 'go divert your semen from your mate and impregnate yourself into the gestative process'.  Which is like instead of saying of 'I'm Hungry', saying 'stomach rumblings indicate the immediate requirements of nutrition based solids'. Nope, I'm hungry does the trick.  Just like 'fuck you'.  I'm not saying it's not crude or improper but at times it is appropriate given the situation.  Then Pat went into this made up revisionist view of the history of hip hop which was worth the price of the rental alone.  The man is a flat lunatic. But he did throw out props to Will Smith for doing rap the right way.  Somewhere in between twenty million dollar paydays, Will Smith weeps.

For the most part though 'Fuck' lacked focus as it just kind of meandered to one talking head to another with no focused agenda unless you consider skewering the FCC its agenda.  A lot of the talking heads didn't have a hell of a lot to say that was worth a damn either.  Pornstars Ron Jeremy and Tara Patrick, along with some tatooed dude who was her husband had very little to offer to the proceedings, Drew Carey is a funny cat but I think he's still on those anti depressants.  Sam Donaldson and Ice-T were pretty interesting though.

After a while 'Fuck' became a bit tedious as it jumped from one point to the other with nothing in particular to say other than the word ‘fuck’ a lot.  It still had enough interesting bits to make it worth watching, just not what I would call a transcendent documentary experience.

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