I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell
by Jason Coffman
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Thanks, Internet. If it weren’t for Tucker Max’s inexplicably popular blog, we never would have heard of him. And, in turn, thanks to that blog’s popularity, he never would have gotten a book deal to turn his blog into the New York Times Bestseller I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, a handy print version of said blog for people who didn’t feel like having tuckermax.com show up in their browser histories. Of course, any film that’s a New York Times Bestseller is pretty much automatically up for a film adaptation, and this was no different. So thanks, Internet, for the worst movie of 2009. This is all your fault.
For those of you lucky enough to have no idea who Tucker Max is, here’s a quick refresher: he’s a total ass who posts blog entries about drinking himself stupid and getting in wacky adventures, usually involving the opposite sex, poop, vomit, urine, the police, video cameras, and/or all of the above. Reading his endless posts is like getting a letter from some random frat guy you always hated— they never end with him dying or going to jail, so there’s no real satisfaction to be derived from them. I suppose any defense of the man would claim that he always comes out looking like a fool, which is true, but not in any meaningful way. The short version of his entire web site is basically “I got totally FUCKED UP and did SOME STUPID SHIT, isn’t that AWESOME?”
Movies have certainly been built out of less, but in this case someone in the dark offices from whence this rough beast was conceived decided that the movie adaptation was going to need a stronger storyline. So instead of just a string of random adventures, the film puts Tucker and his bros in a prototypical bachelor party/last fling before one of them gets married. And then drags it out for an hour and forty-five minutes.
Tucker (Matt Czuchry, perhaps best known as “Logan” from TV’s Gilmore Girls) decides that he wants to take his best friend Dan (Geoff Stults, perhaps best known as “Ben” from TV’s Seventh Heaven) to a strip club called Avarice for his bachelor party. The club is located three hours away, but Tucker claims it will be worth it because the strippers allow clients to touch them. In one particularly unbelievable scene, Tucker happily explains this reasoning to Dan’s fiancee Kristy (Keri Lynn Pratt). If the fact that Tucker has friends and is smarter than he acts (as depicted in a painfully unfunny classroom scene) hasn’t stretched your sense of disbelief yet, the fact that Kristy is not all that concerned that her husband-to-be is driving three hours away to touch some strippers should finish the job.
Before they leave, though, Tucker and Dan have to pick up their other friend Drew (Jesse Bradford, aka Bizarro World Justin Theroux). Drew caught his last girlfriend giving oral sex to the rapper Grillionaire (played by Paul Wall), and now uses the word “whore” in almost every sentence he speaks. This is not the sort of guy anyone would bring along for a good time, and he proves it. In one scene, he tells one girl if she doesn’t leave him alone he’ll “gut you and grind you into pig slop,” and tells another that he’ll “carve another fuckhole in your torso.”
Why aren’t you laughing?
Seriously, this is all just too depressing to think about. “Hijinks” include Tucker having sex with a deaf woman and a “midget stripper,” Dan elbowing a stripper in the face and getting thrown in jail for public urination, and Drew somehow making a romantic connection with a stripper who has a little boy by teaching the kid plastic soldier military tactics and losing a Halo contest to her. There’s also a scene featuring possibly the most realistic violent diarrhea ever committed to film. That’s probably the nicest thing I can say about this movie: you’re never going to see a more realistic version of a guy spraying liquid shit out of the back of his tighty whities in a major motion picture. Take that, Avatar.
The only solace is that the film was such a spectacular failure at the box office that no one would ever consider a sequel. How this sub-Comedy Central Original made its way into any theaters is utterly baffling. Stupid, ugly, misogynist and just disgusting, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell is one of the most jaw-droppingly misguided comedies in recent memory. God help us all.
I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell is out 26 January on DVD from 20th Century Fox.
Jason Coffman is a film critic living in Chicago.
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