A version of this brief review of The Other F Word was originally part of a Doc Talk column published on Movies.com on November 2, 2011.
I want to call attention to The Other F Word, which profiles a slew of grown-up punk rockers (of the Los Angeles and Bay Area scenes), including Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Fat Mike (NOFX), Art Alexakis (Everclear), Mark Hoppus (Blink-182), Duane Peters (U.S. Bombs), skater Tony Hawk and, most prominently, Jim Lindberg (Pennywise).
What they all have in common is they sold out — I mean settled down and had children. The other “f word” is namely “fatherhood” though it also applies to “family,” “food,” and other words generally pertaining to adulthood. Lindberg is likely the main subject because he wrote the obvious inspiration, a memoir called Punk Rock Dad: No Rules, Just Life, plus he has an actual ongoing narrative throughout the film.
It’s the most endearing and potentially most tearjerking documentary about punks you’ll ever see. Could you ever have expected that a pseudo-sequel to films like Penelope Spheeris’s The Decline of Western Civilization and Suburbia would elicit so many responses of “awwwww”? If so, you’re probably a former punk who has grown up, too, and this is made just for you.
Those still in the gutter might not be so interested. Even I expect to relate more to the thesis once I’ve had kids. But I wonder if many women, with or without children, will feel sadly unrepresented. Few wives are seen in the film, and they aren’t given any real focus. Meanwhile, there are certainly a whole ton of female punks who have similarly grown up and had families. It’s especially surprising since the film is directed by a woman (Oscar-nominee Andrea Blaugrund).
I do hope The Other F Word is a success because it really calls for a sequel, maybe something called “The Other Parent.”