Wednesday, August 30, 2006

“Beer Beer Beer Beer…Beer!”

Well, what can I say about the movie Beerfest? I can say that I’m inexpressibly happy I didn’t have to pay to see it. Actually, working a long day and driving home only to turn around and drive half the distance back to a Landmark theater so we could see it for free was a bit painful; but, I’m still really happy I didn’t pay. Umm, what else can I say? Well, I think the guys who made Beerfest are geniuses, which I’ll explain later.

Beerfest is directed, co-written, and stars Jay Chandrasekhar, also known as “Broken Lizard”, who you may have seen in Arrested Development and Andy Richter Controls the Universe (I knew I’d seen him somewhere…I miss you AD), and of course, in 2001’s Super Troopers, which I haven’t seen but which Girl Kid and her B-Friend report is hi-larious. I saw the trailer for Super Troopers back in the day, and I figured I’d already seen all the funny bits, “We can’t pull over any further man, we’re as far over as we can go!” It’s one of those movies that stoned frat kids love, and I don’t have any pot, so there. No point in seeing it really. Beerfest is the, (dare I say it), sequel for grown-up’s. ‘Cause, you know, grown-ups drink beer.

Beerfest does for conspicuous over-consumption of America’s Favorite Beverage that ST did for Mary Jane—allow the filmmakers to imbibe to a prodigious degree and call it a career. This is where the genius part comes in—how many people can manipulate a film studio into financing a movie, use their mom’s house in New Mexico as a set, convince a bunch of breast-enhanced starlets to take off their shirts, and also employ all their friends to drink a lot of beer and call it “acting”? Not too many. Genius.

Let’s see, what else? For no apparent reason, this movie included cameos by some fairly recognizable stars. For instance, what the hell was Donald Sutherland doing in this thing? Granted, he’s only on-screen for three minutes, and is lying down the entire time (while drinking three giant mugs of beer which I suspect may have been filled with the real thing), but still, dude, what were you thinking? Cloris Leechman is more understandable, as that woman will do anything for money. She plays, not surprisingly, an ex-whore in this one; in fact she plays almost the same character she did in Young Frankenstein, dirndl and pigtails included.

Respected German actor Jürgen Prochnow also appears as the leader of the evil German beer championship team, and there is a running gag about “Das Boot”, which is an enormous glass boot of beer that must be drunk without spilling to win the competition. Because Jürgen Prochnow was the movie Das Boot, get it? Hilarious, right? Or, maybe not. There is a trick to performing the supposedly impossible task of chugging Das Boot that anyone who’s taken fifth grade science will immediately figure out, so this plot point is sort of wasted. (I said “wasted”, ha ha.) And one character dies in a giant vat of beer, but is immediately replaced by his identical but somehow better twin. I really thought that guy would be able to drink his way out of the vat. Kind of disappointing, actually. And there are a lot of hot girls, who as we all know, really love fat drunken losers. And Mon’ique is in the movie. Actually, in some ways she was the hottest chick of all. She does get the longer of the two sex scenes, and I did believe it when she said she was going to break that guy in half.

There are a few funny moments, such as the sublime scene where a comparison is made between how a very drunk Jay Chandrasekhar sees himself and how others see him…so, so funny. The Trojan Beer was funny, as was the Olympic-atheletes-entering-the-stadium re-creation. In fact, the movie does sort of grow on you. It’s amusing to witness such an unabashedly enthusiastic celebration of all things “beer”. Quality filmmaking this is not, but if you are in the right frame of mind, and are of a certain age, (even if only mentally), and if you love beer, and boobies, and bad acting and drinking games…and more beer, then this movie might just be for you. If you’ve ever played “coins”, worn a beer box on your head, or laid under a ladder while someone pours beer into your mouth, you may find yourself chuckling now and then. If you do go, try to be as drunk as possible; I think it might help. Personally, I could have lived without the frog masturbation.

Oh yeah, and this is the really important bit—don’t pay.


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