Documentary on the usage, spread and social repercussions of the most popular of all swear words.
For a film that purports to lift the lid on a contentious topic, Steve Anderson’s doc plays disappointingly safe. He may include 629 usages of the word ‘fuck’, but he sticks to a rigid format of clips and talking heads, occasionally enlivened by Bill Plympton’s acute animations.
Moreover, he gives equal space to rebels and conservatives alike, hoping that the wit of the mavericks will deride the po-faced pronouncements of the do-gooders. But each camp is cloyingly smug, and while it’s amusing to hear politicians swearing, the film often gets sidetracked. Most damning, however, is the lack of a socio-cultural context that makes the F-word’s shock aspects more explicit.
This could have been far more illuminating, challenging, or at the very least entertaining