First, a quick recap of my exposure to Tucker Max. At some point I visited his site, and read all of his stories in one sitting. He writes about his escapades, usually drunken sexual rampages, in such a way that someone who has never had a drink is still engaged. I'd check his blog once in a while when I was bored, but it wasn't until he started writing about the experience of creating a movie that I started reading every post habitually. He did a great job of explaining in layman's terms how a movie is made. Just as I enjoyed his drunken stories as a non-drinker, I enjoyed his posts about film making as a non-film-maker.
Tucker was gracious enough to let me stop by the set while filming, and also to give me tickets to the premiere in SF.
I went to the premiere with no idea what to expect. On one hand I'd read the movie blog, which shared audience reactions and screen testing results. They were overwhelmingly positive. I knew that Tucker was focused solely on making the best movie possible, and was determined enough to push for his vision.
On the other hand, the trailer was terrible. It looked like it was filmed on a handicam and wasn't particularly funny. I checked Rotten Tomatoes before going to the premiere and saw that I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell had one of the worst ratings I'd ever seen.
I was a bit worried. Tucker is very transparent and honest on his blog, which endears you to him and makes you want for the movie to be a success. He says that his mission is to treat his fans like he'd want to be treated, and unlike everyone else who say that, he's means it and it's reflected in his actions.
While they waited for the crowd to assemble, Tucker and his co-writer, Nils, had members of the audience tell stories. The two of them would rip on the fan, everyone would laugh, and the next person would get a crack at telling a story without being mercilessly made fun of. Few got by.
Finally the lights dimmed and the movie started.
Scene by scene passed with me laughing along with the rest of the audience. Not the polite chuckle most movies get, but real genuine belly laughs. The jokes were funny AND smart. Some were obvious, some were more subtle, but none were condescending to the audience. It reminded me of Arrested Development,sometimes ridiculous, but always clever.
The plot was better than I expected, the acting was excellent, but what surprised me the most was how good the characters were. Each one was really well defined, had depth, and was likeable. I expected them to blend together a lot more.
The complaints by protestors,namely that Tucker promotes "rape culture" and hates women, are a clear indication that none of them have actually seen the movie. I thought that the movie was MORE respectful towards women than most. Tucker makes fun of a fat girl, but he also flirts with her and she has the last laugh. Strippers get blasted, too, but one of the most likeable characters in the whole movie is a stripper.
I don't want to write too much and give things away, so I'll leave you with this: the movie is fun, it's funny, and it's made with integrity. If you're not very easily offended (and really it's probably not as offensive as you think), you'll enjoy seeing the movie.
Will it be the huge commercial success that Tucker's hoping for? I have no idea, but I'm rooting for him.
I was given the book as a gift when I was working in Iraq. It was a very entertaining read. When I was done I wrote my name in the cover and left a little note to sign it and pass it on to the next guy. It pretty much made the rounds in the office, but I wonder where in the world the book is now.
Click my name on the left to see where you are at 2:15 -- it seems I can't post the video link with you in it.
I forgot to include the video featuring you, following the previous post:
It's funny you mention this, Tynan, because as learned more about it, I found you in the background at 2:15 in this video of the SF premiere. Too bad you didn't get to review it in the video like Ramit Sethi.
I'm sure this horrible and troubling film will do well enough with the frat boy types it has been engineered to appeal to, and date-rape culture will continue to thrive on college campuses.
First came to your blog from tucker's. Enjoyed your review. I'll see it in a couple of weeks. It opened doing $3,000 a screen, not huge, but at those rates it could make back all its costs the first month. That is, it made $300,000 friday on a very limited release and opens big in two weeks.
@Ryan Yep, I saw the speech at the reception. I got there after Tucker had finished his Cameo. Matt did the speech at least 8 times while I was there, and they were filming guest reactions mostly.
[MINOR SPOILER AHEAD]
What made me worry there might be a saccharine ending was the fact that the one scene I saw was an apology and he was about to make up for it. How he made up for it was a bit cheesy, but I liked it in the context of the following conversations.
I know that you think your other blogs love you like I do, but seriously - who brings you stories like this besides me?
Evan and I were hanging out at my place last night. The neighbors were having a party, as they often do, and we could hear it in my room. For some reason I can never hear the blaring music, but it sounds as though the "clip clop" of the hot girls' stilletos are in my place.
I normally don't really like parties, but my neighbor has transformed his condo into a high end club, complete with hot tub on the roof and large granite bar. He always has at least two girls to every guy, and the girls are always pretty. It's tough not to like that party.
It was a few years ago, and I walked into the dining hall and sat with my friends. Pretty routine day. I was a freshman, and my first year was winding down. I was one month into my new frat and life was good.
My friend, a class senator in student government, had a piece of paper laying on the table. I picked it up and read the big title "Run for Student Government", and I immediately joked that I was dropping everything to run for President. I was just joking of course; I had seen a bunch of other Baylor freshmen run for various positions earlier in the year during freshmen elections, and I had no interest in running.
But then my friend said bluntly, "No seriously you should totally do it. The current president is an idiot, and the senators don't like him. We need someone smart." (Note I think pretty highly of the other guy, these aren't my words) That got me thinking that it would be cool to put up a bunch of posters with my name on them around campus. See, I realized nobody gave a shit about it, and every campaign I had seen didn't take advantage of that fact.