I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell
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I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell

Every so often you might find yourself in a mood for a flick with absolutely no redeeming value what so ever. Okay, if you have these feelings you more than likely have a ‘Y’ chromosome in your genome. If these circumstances align than there is a reasonable chance that you will wait until the ladies and children are out of the house, invite a few friends over and arrange for the delivery of ample quantities of beer and pizza. When it comes time to pop the featured film into the DVD player one that might fit the bill is the aptly named ‘I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell’. This is a puerile flick completely based on alcohol fueled debauchery that makes ‘Animal House’ appear on a similar level as ‘Masterpiece Theater’. A devotee of this genre does not select or judge a film by the usual criteria. The required elements for a film like this consists of a lot of beer and other ethanol based libations, over use of gratuitous nudity and male bonding over the most impossible even ridiculous situations. This film meets all the requirements laid down by decades of such flicks and in typical fashion will receive low ranking from most critics. The fact of the matters is a movie like this is fairly quick and cheap to make and although it rarely breaks even in the theaters it will garner profits in global sales and DVD markets. There is really no drama or suspense involved. The only things that matter is ‘Will people get drunk’ and will there be sex’. The answer to both questions is never in doubt and is always a resounding ‘yes’. This flick will never make any top ten lists or be discussed in any classes taken by aspiring auteurs. Still in the vastness of the art of cinema there is a place even for a flick like this.

One major factor that sets this movie above the pack is it is based on a long running bestselling book by the same name. The author and leading character is Tucker Max. The work began in the new literary format; the blog. This type of writing is extremely suitable for telling this kind of story. The blog is the new short story and easily translates into a vignette driven movie like this. Max manages to tap into the inner child most men have, the one that refuses to grow up but unlike Peter Pan fosters a self-serving hedonistic living. Unfortunately, aside from guys having a night off from the responsibilities of the grown up world the film has little to offer a general audience. The jokes are basically predicable but are saved as much as possible by the delivery. The premise is a frequently used one; kidnapping a groom just before the wedding to throw him a bachelor party that will go down in the annals of profligacy. Many years ago Tom Hanks stared in such a movie but decades ago it was impossible to depict such utterly corrupt activities on screen. Now a film with a strong ‘R’ rating can pretty much do anything and with a DVD marked under the phrase ‘Unedited and unapologetic’. You just know that there will be plenty of cheap, juvenile laughs. That is one thing about this film; I was having an exceptionally bad week when this came in for review. Even though I normally do not go for this particular type of flick I found myself laughing an awful lot.

One of the most important things in selling the audience this kind of flick is the leading man. Playing Tucker Max is Matt Czuchry. He has the golden boy good looks and easy going manner that make it seem he was born to play this role. Perhaps part of this impression comes from the first program I watched that featured him; ‘The Gilmore Girls’. There he played the son and heir to a billionaire who drank himself into oblivion when he wasn’t hopping from bed to bed. Basically Tucker is just a less financially endowed variation of the same archetype guy. Tucker is the kind of guy most men envy at least to some secret degree and never out loud in from for their wives or girlfriends. He is a fantasy prototype harkening back to a more misogynist, less politically correct times. Czuchry is a very good actor, better than this genre typically gets. Then again, as mentioned a less overt flick with the same fundamental plot was part of the career of Tom Hanks so perhaps this film will do a similar job for Czuchry. The first scene sets the action off with the police being called to a loud disturbance with possible animal abuse. It turns out Tucker is having very loud sex with a deaf girl. The next day he brags to his friends while in class. The professor asks if Max is paying attention and is told outright, ‘No.’ it is not even five minutes into the movie and we already have; nudity, sex, foul language, ridiculing the handicapped and contempt for authority. Throw in a keg and the rest of the film writes itself. Tucker does have friends with similar attitudes to women. Drew (Jesse Bradford) hates all women since he walked in on his finance giving oral sex to a stranger. He joins with Tucker to take out soon to be married, straight laced Dan (Geoff Stults) to one last wild road trip to a no rules strip club several hundred miles away. It starts off with a lie told to the bride to be, (Keri Lynn Pratt) and rapidly goes downhill from there.

Posted 01/19/2010

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