A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this intentionally stupid, vulgar comedy features incessant beer drinking. Characters are frequently drunk, hung over, throwing up, burping, and peeing in public urinals. Most scenes are set in bars, at parties, or at drinking competitions. Several scenes feature topless women and/or women engaged in sexual activity with lusty or drunken men. Crude humor and language are featured throughout the film, including verbal and visual references to sex/ejaculation, prostitution, Jewishness, obesity, masturbation, flatulence, funerals, social expectations, and boundaries. Characters also smoke cigarettes, cigars, and pot.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Purposefully vulgar, ridiculous, and repetitive, BEERFEST is, predictably, all about beer-drinking. The minimal plot focuses on brothers Todd (Erik Stolhanske) and Jan Wolfhouse (Paul Soter), who go to Germany to scatter their father's (Donald Sutherland) ashes in his beloved homeland. In Munich, the German branch of the family, the Wolfhausens, accuse their American relatives of stealing a precious beer recipe and retaliate by abusing and humiliating the Wolfhouses at Beerfest. Determined to restore their good name, Todd and Jan assemble of team of former drinking buddies to best their German counterparts. The crew includes Todd and Jan's disturbingly oversexed Great Gam Gam (Cloris Leachman).
Is it any good?
Beerfest delivers exactly what you might expect from the five-member Broken Lizard sketch comedy team (Super Troopers, Club Dread). You've got the scatological, gross-out sex and jokes; physical hi-jinks, and endless yukking it up over drinking and drunkenness. Fans of the group will appreciate the obnoxiousness, but all the audacity is less "transgressive" of social norms than conventional.
Mostly, Beerfest consists of training montages (drinking), boy bonding montages (more drinking), and occasional references to other movies (Wolf, Das Boot, Witness for the Prosecution, any film that includes recruiting an elite squad). As it goes about broadly satirizing sports movie cliches, the movie also provides bouts of drama: All of the guys end up having some kind of personal trauma to deal with or get over.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: August 25, 2006
- On DVD or streaming: December 5, 2006
- Cast: Erik Stolhanske, Kevin Heffernan, Paul Soter
- Director: Jay Chandrasekhar
- Studio: Warner Bros.
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 110 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: pervasive crude and sexual content, language, nudity, and substance abuse.
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