I hear “fuck” so much in movies that it’s become cliche to me, just like “holy shit!”. “Holy shit”, I swear is a term invented by Hollywood. Actually, the use of “fuck” and “holy shit” are becoming major turn offs for me when watching movies. Yes, I think there is an unnatural amount of cursing in movie dialogue. I believe it is a way of expression that writers/ directors/producers believe emphasize points in movies. In other words, cursing is common is real life, but in movies, cursing plays into the fantasy, the “un-reality” of how real life is.
The core audience Hollywood focuses on is 16-25 year old males. This age group, perhaps, more than any other group, are into cursing. In order to write, sell, and get their screenplays produced, many screenwriters incorporate cursing into their screenplays in order to attract producers, i. e. one approach to attract the core audience.
If a screenwriter desires to succeed in the film business, then, they must always keep an eye and ear open to what kinds of films make Hollywood money, and what the content is in those movies. Cursing is a standard by which producers utilize to attract audiences, increase box office receipts, and earn some money for making their next film.
So, you have to make the call. The first issue a screenwriter should confront is who is their audience going to be? What kind of audience do you want to attract, to come see your movie? Look at what caused you to come up with this idea. Think about what you were doing at that time in your life, where you were, when the idea come up, and who helped trigger the idea. Honestly answering these questions should give you an idea about your passion for your movie idea. This passion, correctly identified, will then, become the main theme for your screenplay/movie. These answers, then will help you determine your core audience, which, in turn, should help you make the decisions you need to make with respect to cursing in your movie.
Donald L. Vasicek
Writing and Screenwriting