The first thing to note is these guys are serious about beer. Amber, Dark, Lager or Stout, they show each of them in glowing angelic light, so if you hate beer or are personally scarred because a loved one tripped over a beer can and fell down a ravine this is not for you. If you’re a Broken Lizard fan it is for you, and if you’re just looking for a little fun (that doesn’t cost a lot of money) on a Friday night I’d also say this is for you.
I’m half tempted not to even get into the plot because you’ve either seen the trailer or can deduce it about eight seconds after entering the theater. Besides that, in the grand tradition of comedy movies the whole world round this one doesn’t really care about storyline. Oh, there’s a story, but it’s not like they are going for an Oscar. I may sound like I’m talking dirty about this but in fact the exact opposite is true, I like comedies that know what they are, not comedies trying to aspire to what they’re not. Right then, the plot, two brothers head off to Germany to spread their grandpa’s ashes and stumble upon an international beer competition where they are quickly ridiculed and humiliated. Determined to avenge this slight and claim world beer domination the brothers draft a team of miscreants and never were’s made up of college buddies. Along the way other things happen too, none of which should concern you in the slightest when deciding whether to see this or not.
The comedy is of course low brow and of the lay-up variety but most of it is funny and I did laugh more than a few times, plus I was all alone when I screened it so it couldn’t have been peer pressure. There aren’t nearly enough shots of naked ladies (another grand standard of lower budget laughers) which I guess was due to finding that elusive PG-13. Oh crap, upon further investigation it is rated R so now I have no idea why there wasn’t more general toplessness. What’s up fellas? Were you going for a lesser rating at some point? Color me disappointed.
The knocks here are cultural significance and overall telegraphing. “Umm,” you’re saying, “Why the hell would something called Beerfest need to be culturally significant?” to which I’ve got to reply in an evasive and somewhat confusing manner. I guess what I’m trying to get at is this movie could have been made in 1980; there is nothing to make it stand out against any comedy over the last 25 years. You could look at something like Talladega Nights and concede that it was made with the current growth of NASCAR into a major sport. You could look at Anchorman and see that it couldn’t have been made right after the 70’s because proper perspective had not yet been gained. I’m not sure how this argument applies to Wedding Crashers but I’m sure someone smarter than me can tackle that one.
Overall Beerfest is a “guzzle” on the ratings scale because it is actually funny. It’s not innovative funny or hysterically funny but it is funny enough to warrant eight to sixteen dollars (depending on whether you have friends). It won’t change your life but it will make you want to drink beer. That’s enough for now, check back in a decade or so and we’ll see if we still remember the buzz.