"Rarely Fails to be Excruciating"

Occasionally, I’ll run post ideas past my wife to get a preliminary read on whether they’d amuse her, and my Bored at Work crowd. She will sometimes give constructive feedback, but generally her just says, “You should write about me.”

Today is the her last day as a 25-year-old, so as a birthday present I’m taking her advice – but since I don’t have enough space on the Internet to articulate how great she is, I will instead talk about the time she had Netflix send her the I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell movie.

I repeat: Netflix didn’t do this on accident, she asked them to send her this.

Happy birthday, honey.

But first, some boring backstory.

About a year ago, when my World of Warcraft days were in their sunset, my guild and I were talking over Ventrilo like the dorks we were. I forgot how it came up, but one of them said: “Have you ever seen the movie ‘I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell?’ That movie is amazing.”

You could tell by the tone of his voice he was one of those people – Christian Lander would call it “The wrong type of white person:” Couldn’t believe you didn’t like Dane Cook, played Call of Duty for hours after logging off WoW, would announce his intention to play Call of Duty for hours after logging off WoW, and generally had lots of acne in his voice.

When that type of person refers to something as “amazing,” you make a mental note to avoid that something at all costs.

Except …

(Labored, exasperated sigh)

FINE, fine, I read three chapters of “I Hope ..,” one in which the author, Tucker Max, brings a breathalyzer machine to the bar; another in which the author’s friend wrestles at a bar (I think?) and they get confronted by rednecks with guns; and another involving a fat girl and a bedroom window. The book isn’t one story, but a collection of shorts.

It’s not a terrible read. In fact, I was mildly amused by the stories. Most of his stories could have been told by anyone and been funny; but, admittedly, there were moments when I envied his ability to escalate the humor of an event with his language. In fact, if I could go the rest of my life without looking myself in the eyes, I’d probably read the whole book.But, even reading that tablespoon of content, I just knew – hell, you could probably tell just by looking at the cover, “There’s no way this would translate into a good movie, but somebody is going to try.” If it did play in movie theatres up this way, I didn’t hear about it; so I am going to assume it went straight to DVD until it’s proven otherwise. 

An Aside that Matters: The title is New York Post writer Kyle Smith’s comment, taken from this movie’s Rotten Tomatoes page. I was hurting for title ideas, and I lost my shit when I read that.

Which leads us to …My wife puts in the movie and offers the long couch to me, as if I’d sit through this colostomy bag. I graciously decline – “Fuck. No.” I say. – and retire to my computer cave, content to log into League of Legends and piss myself off (nothing good ever happens when I log into that game).

As my nine-tailed magical fox character is getting run down by an old man with a cane, I hear the opening scene. The cops bust into a house to find the main character banging a deaf girl, and the movie’s prevalent theme of “We can’t put the storytelling onto the screen so we’re just going to shout cuss words and hope you laugh at that” gets traction and starts pushing forward.

Forty-five minutes later, my wife – who is liable to giggle herself a hernia if you call her cat Jeffrey or say “fanny pack” in the right tone of voice – hasn’t laughed once. Meanwhile, I’ve maybe gotten two kills and died 15 times. I try to think of an equation that allows me to quantify the experience of that movie in video game deaths, but it gets too complicated. I get up and go to the kitchen.”So how’s the movie?” I ask as I drop two ice cubes into a glass.”Mmm,” she says, as another character yells the F-word at something. “Go fuck yourself.”The end.Closing Note: It turns out that somebody was Max himself. He wrote the screenplay and directed the film. Making it was a smart business decision, if you look at the codswallop we’ve been watching on television. It was, from what I could decipher, a movie make of reality TV. Thinking about it that way, I’m surprised it didn’t do better at the box office.