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STUDIO: 20th Century Fox
RUNNING TIME: 105 minutes
• Deleted Scenes
Also known as “If These Roofies Could Talk”
Matt Czuchry, Geoff Stults, Jesse Bradford, Keri Lynn Pratt, Marika Dominczyk
Follow Tucker Max and his happy fun time friends as they go on a wild, feel-good road trip looking for love through the heartland of America. And by love, I mean midget sex. And by heartland, I mean strip clubs. And by feel-good, I mean pissing feels like Sigourney Weaver shot something in there.
Allow me to slice out 2,200 venomous words from what’s already going to be a diatribe of a review right upfront by simply affirming what you can already tell from the first 15 seconds of the trailer: Yes, the movie’s an atrocity. Yes, it revels in white, privileged, misogynist, sociopathic behavior the way some of us revel in a long shower after wading through a landfill, or a sewer, or New Jersey. Yes, I have wondered many an hour if Tucker Max’s face can stop bullets, and think its high time we all found out in a very public setting.
Here’s the reaction I didn’t expect: I don’t hate the film for going so far out of its way to make Darwin do a goddamned Psycho Crusher in his grave with its depictions of modern man and woman as anthropomorphic genitalia with shoes. I’m actually angry because it doesn’t go far enough.
When Tucker first came over, the question was whether they could or should enforce Rule 34 on R2D2 fucking a chocobo. 6 beers later, it was only a question of when.
In a weird, roundabout way, I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell is the real spiritual sequel to American Psycho. If you imagine Patrick Bateman was just bored enough to one day settle down with some woman whose face he secretly wants to mount on his wall like a squishy African tribal mask, raise a couple of kids in suburbia, it is perfectly reasonable Tucker Max would result from that union. Far as we know, he doesn’t necessarily have homicidal fantasies (that may very well be his friend Aspergian friend Drew, played by Jesse “Goddammit-You-Worked-With-Aaron-Sorkin-You-Should-Know-Better” Bradford, who’s responsible for some of the most vicious lines in the film) but he definitely shares the misogyny and misanthropy. Only difference is that Tucker actually enjoys who he is and what he’s doing. His journey through life feels like it’s all research for a book that you hope never happe–OH WAIT NEVER MIND. Example: when our movie starts, his driving goal in life is to sleep with three women with three different disabilities, going for the Helen Keller hat trick. His words, not mine. Later, he drags two of his best friends to a strip club in Virginia under the pretense of a bachelor party for his soon-to-be-married friend Dan, when really, it’s an excuse to drive out to seduce a midget stripper at said club. And in between, there are several little moments of objectification where Tucker is able to get all sorts of play, or at least potential play, just by being the biggest asshole with the biggest vocabulary, at the expense of the bartender too nice to ask out the hot waitress, or the girls who go to a bar to, God forbid, lose sobriety, not dignity.
Yes, it’s a McGriddle. In an aura of beatific light, they way they ought to be. This is the most beautiful image in the whole film. And there’s TITS in this film.
I don’t doubt for a second that this tactic works, and this is ultimately the Tucker Max hypothesis: In this life, with enough passive aggressive charm and flair, the asshole usually wins. Not that we needed him to tell us that. And we all know there’s a certain brand of girl that falls for that, there always have been these girls, there will continue to be.
The person who would exploit such a society and the women who love him can make for interesting film, if not so much a great one, and certainly not a safe one, which is the only way a character like this gets to skate by on any level. But, as mentioned, that movie was American Psycho, and you’re allowed a minute to stop reading this review to snicker a little at the fact that a movie based on a book written by a bisexual man, screenwritten by a lesbian, and directed by a feminist has more to say about white male privilege and power than an actual self-aware white male with privilege and power. The real slap in the face is this: I haven’t read the book upon which this movie is based, and the day I do, it will be followed by a lovely selection of after-dinner strychnine pills, but a cursory search for reviews suggest that he does not compromise his position during this book. He has a moment of clarity, but ultimately, does not compromise, apologize, or backtrack from who he is.
This movie has him apologizing.
And not just apologizing, but falling victim to the most boring, chick flick cliche in the book. The asshole friend shows up to his jilted buddy’s wedding a night after realizing what a dick he’s been and apologizes. And everyone laughs, his friends forgive him, “Oh, That Tucker”, and then we’re back to asking whether he actually had midget sex. His friend Dan makes up with his scorned wife in seconds. Serial killer in training Drew finds love with a sharp-tongued stripper who found the way to his heart through Halo 3.
Oh, yeah, did no one tell you? I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell is actually a romantic comedy. Granted, The Hangover falls victim to this same convention, but there’s actually sincere, mostly earned regret and retribution for the night before in that film, from three guys who may be fucking idiots, but mostly mean well. One of the guys we’re supposed to have empathy for in this movie tells us he’d rather mainline Drano than listen to any more whore prattle, and threatens to carve another fuck-hole in a woman’s torso. Once the film crosses that line–and it does, repeatedly, like its the Mexican border–empathy dies screaming like a stuck Irish pig. And a movie that dares to make you hate it in such cold blooded, startling detail almost earns a baleful, grudging respect. Larry Clark’s whole career rides on that principle. But the film nudges you in the ribs and says “I’m just playin’ ladies, you know I love you” in the last ten minutes, castrating the one morbidly fascinating aspect from entire affair.
“Look, all I’m saying is, you get kidnapped once every two years about, you never put up a fight, even though you’re perfectly capable, and even though he saves you every single time, what do you do for your working class plumber boyfriend? You bake him a cake and kiss him on the cheek? You and the 12-foot lizard got something going on on the side. Just sayin’. Can I buy you another drink?”
For what purpose exactly? Neither movie or book has much to speak of in terms of plot, as opposed to being an excuse to get absolute gems like the examples above to stream out of our protagonists. Tucker shows no such restraint to anyone in the book. The only explanation is that Max, with all his wisdom, knew the success of this movie relied on getting some fraction of the female population satiated with this film, and the only way to do that is to make himself look somewhat repentant, to kowtow to the female ideal that maybe the bad boy can change after all.
Fuck that. Had Tucker Max ended the film with him proudly proclaiming his right to be an asshole, cognizant of what he is, what he has done, what he will continue to do, and it is not his responsibility to make him like you, then had himself a nice, floppy “I am a bright, shining star” moment in a mirror, you’d at least have an exercise in hate on your hands, and that’s at least worth talking about. But in the end, he makes the compromise he chooses not to make in real life, expecting that he might win over the date night crowd. That makes him a bigger whore than the women he calls by the same name.
Tucker Max. He and Joe Francis are everything that’s wrong with having a dick in the modern age. He runs a website which I’m sure extraterrestrials will use as justification when they annihilate our asses. I never expected to like him. But I also didn’t expect him to be a pussy.
Screengrab from the Pink Havens scene from the third Whore of the Rings film. Seen here: Dildo Teabaggins being escorted to the last ship out of Diddle Earth.
There’s about a half hour of ineffective deleted scenes, though one close shave with a chuckle or two as Matt Czuchry’s Tucker finds himself mocking a preppy jackass in a bar named, coincidentally, Logan. The rest is white noise. Nothing else except the film’s trailer. Not that I would want or need more, but I seem to remember reading Max had been chronicling the living hell out of every step of this sucker on his website, attempting to chart an outsider’s look at how Hollywood works. Might’ve been an interesting read. But I’m sure he knows his audience better than I do.