Bucking the trend of dumbed-down guy movies, Tucker Max’s I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell (based on his best selling book) is a surprisingly smart and emotionally astute take on the relationships between men and women.
Wait, did I really just say that?
Let’s start off with the negative: If there’s one big flaw in this movie, it’s that it’s based on the seemingly worn-out premise of a bachelor party gone wrong. The story centers around Tucker (Matt Czuchry), Drew (Jesse Bradford) and Dan (Geoff Stults) who travel up the eastern seaboard to a mythical strip club known for it’s high-quality, bolt-on endowed women and, as Tucker reveals later- a particular midget stripper that is the latest object of his obsession.
Typically a plot like this would require a lot of outlandish twists to be even halfway interesting (see: The Hangover) but with solid casting and an intelligent script (co-written with Nils Parker) that keeps the hilarious one-liners coming one after the other, IHTSBIH manages to keep the viewer grounded in reality and doesn’t pander to the lowest common denominator.
If you’re in any way familiar with Tucker’s persona (or have heard of those who have decided to protest this movie based on the premise that it promotes ‘rape culture’) you may be expecting that you’ll have to leave your chick at home for this one.. but nothing could be further from the truth. Women will love this film- even if she later makes you watch an entire season of Sex and the City as a penance.
The two lead female roles, played by Keri Lynn Pratt (Kristy) and Marika Dominczyk (Lara) are equally capable of putting the men in their place and some of the best scenes of the movie involve the back-and-forth between Lara and the misanthropic Drew; even Tucker himself is ultimately revenged by a ‘fatty’ that leads to one of the most outlandish shit-scenes to have ever been filmed. Trust me when I say that your girl will be laughing right alongside you (and yes, I did bring mine to the premiere). Nothing is sacred in this movie, but no bad deed goes unpunished, either.
In short (and why give away the entire plot?) this is one of the most engaging and funniest films of the year- Tucker, Nils and director Bob Gosse managed to walk a fine line and came out smelling like roses (unlike that poor cleaning lady). An ESM “don’t miss” if there ever was one.