I have made no secret of my love for Roger Ebert and his writing. Notice I didn’t say movie reviews or critiques. Mr. Ebert and I don’t always see eye-to-eye, but his reviews are always a pleasure to read. He is articulate, funny and knows his stuff. Even with all his health problems, he is sharp and upbeat and flowing with life. I was reading his review of Hot Tub Time Machine when I came across this gem of a paragraph:
I can’t be sure, but I think the density of the f-word reaches the saturation point in “Hot Tub Time Machine.” I may have heard it employed as three different parts of speech in the same sentence. One wonders if American-spoken English could survive without it. What did we say in the old days? It must have been a quiet land.
“It must have been a quiet land.” Classic.
At any rate, having seen Hot Tub Time Machine, I wondered how many f-words the movie had in its quiver of vulgarity. Maybe I’m desensitized, but I didn’t think it was chock full of fudge like Ebert did. And I was right – according to KidsinMind.com, it has 191 f-words. That doesn’t even come close some well-known movies that have double the f-bombs. Check the f**k count out for these flicks below:
Summer of Sam (Spike Lee, 1999) – 435
Casino (Martin Scorsese, 1995) – 422
Alpha Dog (Nick Cassavetes, 2007) – 367
Running Scared (Wayne Kramer, 2007) – 315
Goodfellas (Scorsese, 1990) – 300
Narc (Joe Carnahan, 2002) – 297
Jarhead (Sam Mendes, 2005) – 278
The Departed (Scorsese, 2006) – 277
Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994) – 265
The Big Lebowski (Joel & Ethan Coen, 1998) – 260
Does this mean anything? Does it matter? Who knows. It is interesting to note that more than two uses of the f-word will generally earn a picture an R rating. What’s the difference between one or two and 10, or 50 or 435? For morality, I’m not sure there is a difference, but for taste, probably.
One thing is certain: The f-word is injected into our culture on every level and is more acceptable nowadays than in times past. Another thing is clearly evident: Martin Scorsese sure does love him some f**k word.