I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell
Directed by Bob Gosse
Written by the proudly belligerent Tucker Max, the inflammatory book of this same title was on the bestseller list three years in a row. Told from the strip club, the bathroom stall in the strip club, and finally the strip club's bathroom floor, it was a series of vignettes that Max culled from his personal website—exaggerated retellings of true but outrageous encounters between Max, alcohol and the opposite sex. It displayed boring old misogyny masked by wit, but so long as the stories were contained in the realm of fictionalized personal narratives, they remained one man's easily ignorable opinion.
Unfortunately he's harder to ignore when they elongate one of these narratives, the "Austin Road Trip" story, into an painful 105-minute feature. Despite the fact that teenagers nationwide are going to hear gem pick-up lines like "get away from me or I'm going to carve another fuck hole in your torso", what truly crowns this film as an epic fail is its apologetic attempt to masquerade gratuity as an Apatovian bromance. While Max's book is commendable if only for its fuck-all,insurgency against political correctness ("My name is Tucker Max and I'm an asshole"), the producers of this film got cold feet and decided to cut the potency of Max's act, hiding his sociopathic impulses behind the conceit of the "bachelor party gone wrong". For every five scenes of excessive drinking and booby grabbing, we are given one required "I'm sorry, babe" to a girl back home, and at the end, a mass intervention/apology. The result is that I Hope they Serve Beer in Hell ends up re-inscribing the very ethics that Max presumes to be challenging. With this ball-less move, the powers that be have their cake and eat it too, both glorifying and tsk-tsking Max's disorder.
Opens September 25