I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell (2009)
Release Date: September 25th, 2009 MPAA Rating: R
Director: Bob Gosse Actors: Matt Czuchry, Jesse Bradford, Geoff Stults, Keri Lynn Pratt, Traci Lords
s can be surmised by anyone familiar with writer Tucker Max’s oeuvre, “I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell” is loaded with nonstop abrasive vulgarities. True life and humor do make an appearance, though the morals contain an unlikely fairytale aspect for such atrocious actions, and the laughs come from disgust and shock. However, for those desiring the entertainment of such caustic antics, Max’s stories deliver. Female audiences should be warned that the sexist, misogynistic behavior is condoned more often than condemned. In Tucker Max’s world, not only do nice guys finish last, but also the most contemptible lot gets the girls and saves the day.
Tucker Max (Matt Czuchry) has fashioned his lifestyle chasing the delirium offered by too much alcohol, licentious women, and generally reckless behavior. When his best friend Dan (Geoff Stults) is engaged to be married, Tucker insists on indulging the groom, his bitter buddy Drew (Jesse Bradford), and most importantly himself, in the excesses of an anti “no-touch” policy strip club, several hundred miles away. Things get out of hand when Tucker’s selfishness lands Dan in jail, and now the man who has always scoffed at the consequences of his own actions must search within to find a way to rectify the dire situation he has created.
It’s like “Jackass” without the stunts, which is to say that it’s loud, obnoxious, and abrasive, but missing a unique angle. What was innovative about the vignette-styled source material isn’t translated to the big screen; instead, the funniest bits are sewn together into a road trip movie that screams of contrivance. Although there’s undeniably some creative liberties laced into the truth, too much of it has been done before – even as recently as this year (see “The Hangover”). With only one truly shocking, gross-out gag, “I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell” will probably only ever be recognized for that single scene.
The opening credits read, “Based on a true story… Unfortunately.” What follows is a decidedly acerbic sense of humor, especially when Tucker’s initial quick wit, attentiveness, and intelligence give way to amusement based on the destruction of others’ self esteem and collectedness. A few of his metaphors aren’t entirely standoffish, but the easiest laughs come from “defense mechanisms,” including poking fun at women, their annoying personalities, and other undesirable female qualities, to impress his friends. Perhaps what’s worse is that although he’s a disgusting, chauvinistic pig, the ladies still love him. Will he reform? Will he embrace his one-track mindset? Does it really matter what Tucker would do? The bachelor-party-gone-horribly-wrong plot certainly isn’t new and neither is the stereotypical group of friends with opposing attitudes – or the predictable manner in which the story neatly wraps up.
– The Massie Twins