Alt Film Guide
Classic movies. Gay movies. International cinema. Socially conscious & political cinema.
Home Film ArticlesMovie Reviews Fuck (Movie 2005): Should ‘Offensive’ Language Be Protected?

Fuck (Movie 2005): Should ‘Offensive’ Language Be Protected?

3 minutes read

Fuck documentary posterFuck documentary review: In Steve Anderson’s laid-back nonfiction feature, various celebrities discuss the United States’ fine – and wholly arbitrary – line separating socially acceptable, constitutionally protected speech from obscene speech (and acts).
  • Fuck (movie 2005) review: Featuring assorted U.S. celebrities from the realms of film, music, literature, adult entertainment, etc., Steve Anderson’s conventionally packaged, occasionally perceptive, and moderately entertaining documentary uses the titular word to tackle the thorny issue of free speech in the United States.

Fuck (movie 2005) review: U.S. celebrities of various stripes discuss the reasoning for & the power of ‘offensive’ language

Ramon Novarro Beyond Paradise

Birds do it, but don’t sing it. Bees do it, but don’t buzz it. Humans do it, but should they be allowed to say it?

Although centered on one of the most offensive, most convenient, and most widely used words in the English language, Steve Anderson’s documentary Fuck is an occasionally perceptive – even if narrow in scope and conventionally put together – examination of freedom of speech in the United States.

So, should the concept of freedom of speech, enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, also be applied to “offensive speech” – whether written, oral, or visual?

And what exactly distinguishes “offensive” (but protected) speech from obscene (and therefore unprotected) speech? Arbitrary and oftentimes contradictory mores and customs? Personal and/or sociopolitical prejudices? Generalized social hypocrisy?

Multifaceted word

Fuck doesn’t provide in-depth answers to any of these questions. But along the way, you’ll see and hear numerous talking heads discuss the history, the symbolic value, and the myriad meanings and grammatical forms of the documentary’s multifaceted titular word – in addition to related issues in which sex and sexuality inevitably play a crucial role.

Among the interviewees are television producer Steven Bochco; filmmaker Kevin Smith; former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee; adult film stars Tera Patrick and Ron Jeremy; singers Alanis Morissette and Pat Boone; and recently deceased author Hunter S. Thompson, to whom the documentary is dedicated.

Among those seen in archive footage as examples of perceived attacks on American society and its morals are the likes of Lenny Bruce and George Carlin. We also learn that Robert Altman’s 1970 smash hit MASH marked the first time the word was uttered in a U.S.-made, big-studio motion picture.

Other movie references range from Brian De Palma’s expletive-filled Scarface (1983) to Jay Roach’s 2004 box office hit Meet the Fockers.

Pat Boone warning

Now, if the word fuck offends you, you might want to stay away from Anderson’s documentary, as it’s used freely throughout.

And a warning to fans of the April Love and Bernardine star: After watching Fuck, you’ll never see – or say – Pat Boone the same way again.

Fuck (movie 2005) cast & crew

Director: Steve Anderson.

Interviewees: Steven Bochco. Pat Boone. Ben Bradlee. Janeane Garofalo. Ron Jeremy. Alanis Morissette. Tera Patrick. Kevin Smith. Drew Carey. Billy Connolly. Chuck D. Ice-T. Alan Keyes. Sam Donaldson. Dave Marsh. Evan Seinfeld. Hunter S. Thompson. Bill Maher.

Fuck (Movie 2005): Should ‘Offensive’ Language Be Protected?” notes

Fuck documentary (2005) reviewed at the AFI FEST (website).

Fuck movie poster: THINKFilm.

Fuck (Movie 2005): Should ‘Offensive’ Language Be Protected?” last updated in April 2023.

Recommended for You

Leave a Comment

*IMPORTANT*: By using this form you agree with Alt Film Guide's storage and handling of your data (e.g., your IP address). Make sure your comment adds something relevant to the discussion: Feel free to disagree with us and write your own movie commentaries, but *thoughtfulness* and *at least a modicum of sanity* are imperative. Abusive, inflammatory, spammy/self-promotional, baseless (spreading mis- or disinformation), and just plain deranged comments will be zapped. Lastly, links found in submitted comments will generally be deleted.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. If you continue browsing, that means you've accepted our Terms of Use/use of cookies. You may also click on the Accept button on the right to make this notice disappear. Accept Privacy Policy