Rated NR 93 minutes 2006

Twelve-year-olds might get a charge out of this purportedly daring documentary celebration of the F-word's ample use in the U.S., although it never occurs to filmmaker Steve Anderson that it might be fun or even genuinely lewd to interview kids on the subject. Instead he grants screen time to a predictable roster of pro-obscenity celebs -- Janeane Garofalo, Ice-T, Bill Maher, the late Hunter S. Thompson -- as well as some senior admirers of the expletive such as (newsflash!) ABC's alarming Sam Donaldson. Seems old people can be scary: Anderson's idea of anti-free-speech menace is '50s crooner Pat Boone opining, "Censorship is a good word." Other talking heads (one or two of them with PhDs) bid to make the doc sociological, Scarface is quoted, Lenny Bruce gets his props, and Billy Plympton supplies the requisite dirty animation. Aside from the historically worthy identification of General George S. Patton as a pioneering potty-mouth, the film contains little or nothing in the way of surprise; no wonder it neglects to mention that the word is most egregiously overused by would-be shock artists who don't have the goods to transgress for real.

Film Credits

Official Site: www.fourletterfilm.com

Director: Steve Anderson

Producer: Steve Anderson

Cast: Steven Bochco, Pat Boone, Drew Carey, Billy Connolly, Chuck D., Janeane Garofalo, Ice-T, Bill Maher, David Milch and Kevin Smith

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