Language in Films: A Rant

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After anticipating this really cool looking movie for months, I saw Kingsman this weekend and was profoundly disappointed. I won’t go into a review here but other than several enormous plot holes, I was overall disappointed with the fact that the writers took the low road whenever they had the option. I’m not just complaining about the number of profanities that are currently fashionable in Hollywood films, but the fact that crudeness ruled the film. The best example that comes to mind is how far movie dialog has gone from tasteful “You can do anything you like with me, Mr. Bond.” to “If you save the world, you can take me in my —.” The former implied a multitude of sexual offerings without having to ground language in the dirt while the latter left nothing to the imagination and gave at least some of its audience with a bad taste. It also broke the film’s believability in that I doubt that Scandinavian princesses state things so crudely.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve dropped a few f-bombs and other assorted R-rated words in my work but only to push an effect. The character was crude and nasty or they were simply stupid and incapable of other expression. The film does this as well to a certain degree where the gentlemen rarely cuss and most of the bad guys could not express themselves without a few colorful words and sexually oriented phrases thrown in. However, almost all the young people in the film talked trash. In fact, they were unable to express themselves without having to resort to crudeness of some type.

Hey people in the teenager to 30 set. Are you really so incapable of expressing yourself without nastiness? In your excitement, do you really say “F*** me!” or “What the F****?” If so, you might want to expand your vocabulary a bit. I doubt most people are this crude routinely, however, everyone should realize that the words they say also speak volumes for their attitude, social standing, intelligence, and self-esteem.

Overuse of profanity denotes a lack of intelligence and baseness of character. It is so overused now that its shock effect is pretty much nonexistent. In the enormity of the English language, people can easily find words, phrases, or insults that are more precise, accurate, and effective than the seven or so overused profane ones. So consider being more creative when you talk or write rather than relying on the overused and down in the dirt words. Your self-image and the public one you project to others will rise with this one small change in your daily vocabulary.

Let me know what you think. Is there too much profanity in movies? Does it get in the way of good dialogue or plot?

One thought on “Language in Films: A Rant

  1. I’m in complete agreement. My main complaint about profanity is not that it’s vulgar as much as it is lazy. I remember being infuriated at the PG movie “Caspar the Friendly Ghost” because a male character called a woman a bitch. In Caspar. A movie about a cartoon ghost. Did they really need to inject a dose of modern reality? Of course, it was for the shock value and as you said, the usage is so prevalent that it no longer shocks. It simply ruins.

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