Thursday, January 21, 2010

One A Week Reviews #4 / Jay's Review: I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell

A review I did of a film I just want to warn you away from. In retrospect, it reads a little pissy to me, but my opinion still stands... though that poop joke in the money did get a little funnier the more I thought about it.

It's also this weeks "One A Week Review" because sometimes the best thing a boy can do is WARN others away from crap...



Based on the best-selling book by Tucker Max, this comedy follows the gleefully boozy antics of the author -- played by Matt Czuchry -- whose outrageous behavior at a friend's bachelor party jeopardizes the impending nuptials. Now, Tucker must find a way to make amends to his pal and get himself reinvited to the wedding. Traci Lords, Jesse Bradford and Keri Lynn Pratt co-star in this ribald tale from director Bob Gosse.


This movie opens with cops being called to a domestic disturbance that turns out to be Tucker Max having loud, though consensual, sex with a "deaf chick." He boasts about this in the next two scenes, leading into a discussion on dwarfs that is supposed to make him sound smart and cocky, though really only comes off... stupid and hostile.

A guy comedy is one thing, but here an AIDS joke is followed up with a reference to the "Compost Heap at Planned Parenthood. That's where I would have turned this off if I wasn't reviewing it. Even the sad and supposedly sardonic Jesse Bradford sidekick character who needs "Cheering up" keeps threatening to stab and murder women in bars when they try to talk to him. Spending the first half of the film watching him spew the ugliest of the ugly makes his burgeoning connection with the "Single Mother Stripper With A Heart Of Gold" just a tad hard to buy into... The slightest-of-slight attempts to redeem the Tucker Max character in the last third of the movie is far too little too late. I'll spoil it for you: he stays a sociopath.

The closest thing to a "highlight" is Traci Lords showing up for a brief turn as a near-conquest of Max's. She's a game comedienne and a delight to see that late in the movie, but this appearance is degrading and far beneath her talents. She's the set up for what is easily the most revolting bit of scatological "humor" in cinema history.

As a comedy, I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell is an insult-fest too self-satisfied to be funny. When a drudge of a character points out everything Tucker Max says is "sexist and misogynist" she's set up to be mocked. The problem is that she's right. Comedy can be cruel. Comedy can mock. This isn't comedy. It wants to be dirty and ribald and "Bad Boy" but instead is just mean. It's American Pie by way of American Psycho.

I don't know who spent money making it, but I know I can't recommend spending money to watch it.

The film is presented in Widescreen format with English 5.1 Dolby Digital audio and English and Spanish subtitles. Trailers for Damage, 40 Year-Old Virgin Who Knocked Up Sarah Marshall And Felt Superbad About It auto-play, while the menu leads to trailers for Gentlemen Broncos and The Keeper.

As a comedy, I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell is too mean-spirited to be that funny. It represents a certain kind of guy, but I don't want to be the guy it relates to. I'd feel degraded to be that guy.

Seriously, this might be the first comedy to irritate me to the point of being physically angry.

Not one to watch with your girlfriends around either, boys.

MOVIE: F... no, F-

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