Parenthood forces all but the most obdurate postadolescent into adulthood---but what if you're professionally obligated not to grow up? The middle-aged punk rockers in Andrea Blaugrund Nevins's documentary aren't about to toss out their hair gel, but they are trying to reconcile the desire to give their kids a future with a movement that denied there was one. It's doubtful any special-effects spectacular can offer a sight as mind-boggling as the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea playing four-handed piano with his beaming teenage daughter.
The Other F Word's central figure is Pennywise singer Jim Lindberg, a father of three girls and SoCal punk veteran who hides his receding hairline under a baseball cap. For him, the conflict isn't philosophical but practical: Constant touring means missing school plays and father-daughter dances, a compromise Lindberg is increasingly unwilling to make as he gets older. It's an extreme version of the dilemma every dad faces---how to reconcile an established identity with new responsibilities---though the film could have benefited from acknowledging that aging punks aren't the only ones confronting such crises; one longs for a glimpse of a PTA meeting or a backyard barbecue. Still, Nevins's portrait of how a nihilistic movement fostered such nurturing family men resonates beyond its rebels-with-a-cause novelty. Any parent can nod in recognition as Blink-182's Mark Hoppus describes stocking the family car with clean versions of his favorite albums, even if he's talking about replacing his own CDs.
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