Wherein unreasonably free time is dedicated to proving Jonah Hill is funnier than you.

Monday, December 31, 2007


Why I Wanted to See It: (Faint praise alert) The comedy troupe Broken Lizard can be amusing.

Why I Hadn't Seen It: Alcohol is a foreign concept to me, and I almost never root for America in movies (other countries tend to be demonized in such films, turning me off altogher), so a story following 5 Americans' quest to become the world's best drinkers might as well be designed to deter me.

Why I Just Did: Honestly, it was on TV and I was feeling mindless.

Why I'm Glad I Did: I would like to say that, as with Kal Penn, I follow director Jay Chandrasekhar's ground-breaking career with much pride, that Chandrasekhar's ability to defy on-screen South Asian stereotypes in Hollywood while simultaneously establishing himself behind-the-scences makes him eminently interesting to me. For whatever reason, this is not the case; I'm perfectly willing to subject myself to the likes of Epic Movie[1] for Penn, but there's no way on earth I'm ever watching The Dukes of Hazzard. Chandrasekhar's alcoholic gigolo "Barry" was satisfying in his inobtrusive desi-dom, but not so much to keep me watching.

No, the best part of this movie is its smattering of quotability. Cleverness doesn't exactly pervade the movie; there are only brief flashes, but they are brilliant flashes. These 40 seconds alone [warning: cussin!] have fulfilled me more than any movie since...well, actually, Alvin & the Chipmunks, but that's another story.[2]

Why I Wish I Hadn't: My aforementioned problem with stereotypes in US[A]-v-Them movies applies, although there's not enough time spent on anybody but the Germans to get me really riled up. Belching jokes abound and are repetitive without ever attaining rake-bit redemption. The least whorish woman in the entire movie is an actual whore.

From a critical perspective, however, the film's flaws are more fundamental. Beerfest is blatantly aware that it's a sports movie. This places it on that slippery slope between parody and derivation. Using genre tropes can rarely be avoided, but announcing to audience members "Look, we're retreading old ground" isn't witty; it's smug and lazy. If they weren't so content to be overbroad most of the time, you could mistake Broken Lizard for a bunch of hipsters.

[1] Trust; that review is still coming.
[2] Long story short: Vocal percussion + Sped-up vocals + Daniel Powter=Awesome