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I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell

Year: 2009
Production Co: Rudius Films
Director: Bob Gosse
Producer: Nils Parker
Writer: Nils Parker/Tucker Max
Cast: Matt Czuchry, Jesse Bradford, Geoff Stults, Traci Lords

I knew this was based on a book but for some reason I thought it had something to do with a bunch of guys and an internet start-up. But before long I realised it was just about a bunch of postmodern bozos who refuse to grow up, albeit with a little smarter an edge than the usual teen-targeted sex comedy.

I nearly lost interest when I realised the premise, but something kept me watching. Maybe it was a sensibility and flavour that was a little more adult even though it dealt with a perpetual manchild (Tucker, who wrote the book, is portrayed as the lead character and has numerous writer and producer credits) of the type who’d be the hero of a film aimed at a younger audience.

He’s interested only in boozing and shagging, and convinces his straight-laced friend Dan and sardonic, socially retarded gamer friend Drew to accompany him out of town for Dan’s bachelor party at a strip club he claims is legendary for its leniency on the ‘no touching’ rule.

Instead it turns out all he wanted was another sexual conquest to rack up, and when he leaves Drew in the hands of a caring stripper with a heart and Dan drunk and in jail, it becomes a redemption tale as Tucker has to grow up and realise who he’s hurting with his behaviour.

I’ve read a lot of criticism about how unlikeable the characters are, but there’s an arc that’s worthy of the material if you stick with it long enough, and there are some genuine laughs. The production is adequately slick and it’s not as bad as you’ve heard.

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