My review of “I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell”October 3, 2009
Tonight I was finally able to see the highly anticipated movie based off the Tucker Max bestselling book of the same name. Now I absolutely love what Tucker Max has written, and even if some people say that what he writes isn’t 100% true, I don’t really care because it’s hilarious. Oh and I also don’t care about the asshats that slander Tucker saying what he writes promotes rape. They are wrong and haven’t read the book.
So if it hasn’t been indicated from the above and prior posts, I had pretty high hopes for this movie. But I also thought that because of the limited budget and independent release of the movie, I’d be severely let down.
However I wasn’t. The movie, which combines many of Tucker’s stories with some leeway that helps tie stories into one whole plot, was done surprisingly well. An avid Tucker reader would be able to recognize every story, while one unfamiliar with him will want to read every story just to understand the whole Tucker Max persona. The movie had some of the most ridiculous, over the top funny moments that I have ever seen in a movie but still left me wanting more. My friends swore that the movie was better than The Hangover. I disagree, but it was a close second. I thought there were some real high points to the whole story like the hotel lobby scene (which had me in tears laughing), I feel like some parts of the movie dragged and I had myself thinking “Ok get to the next Tucker story,” but once the movie got there, it moved rather well. In fact, I would have actually put up with more movie lag if they would have been able to fit in a few more Tucker Max stories (I wish Sushi Pants or Absinthe Donuts would have been in there.) My only sincere criticism of the movie was the scenery and location. The movie looked cramped in nearly all but one point. The strip club scene was super small and the wedding scenes were really tiny, like TV sitcom sized. But to make up for this the hotel lobby scene was HUGE. I wish the guys would have spent a little more time on scenery selection to make up for this, but this is my only significant complaint about the movie.
The most brilliant part of the whole thing was that there was an actual plot with an almost moral ending for all the characters. Tucker has a growing up moment, realizes he’s a dick and atones for it with a ridiculous speech. It definitely has an “oh that’s nice” ring to it. I wish that the Drew plot line wouldn’t have wrapped itself up so quickly. He deserves more time and a better introduction. He finds the girl he needs way to early and then you lose out on his self deprecating sexist women-hating dry sadistic humor that carries throughout the book. My only complaint about his one line quips throughout the movie seem forced at times and not always funny. But Jesse Metcalf plays a character who (if you’ve read the book) you cheer for and it is great to see his character win out in the end as well. He may in fact be a better hero than Tucker. As for Tucker’s third friend Dan, though I wish his plot line was more closely connected to Tucker’s stories, the overall personalities of him and his wife are taken perfectly from the book. Oh and the girl that plays Kristy is SUPER HOT.
Overall the movie does very well. For two non-Hollywood writers, who also produced the movie on a $7 million budget, with independent distributing, the movie is best one could ask for. Though there is something to be desired in the writing and production, the comedic value is well worth the price. If you pay attention closely enough you’ll notice that Kristy reading the book “beer in hell” and you’ll notice Tucker playing the role of Dan’s best man who Matt Czuchry calls “Slingblade.” On a side note I’m not sure if Tucker is a genuinely bad actor, or is good at acting badly. His deadpan delivery and awkward best man jokes done so well, he might actually be a good actor. In the end, Tucker Max and Nils Parker put together a great movie with a well a nearly perfect cast. And I would officially say the movie is the second funniest movie I have seen this year.
As for the critics out there who have hated the movie I’ll have to quote Tucker and say “If they can’t take a joke, FUCK ‘EM”