I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell is latest addition to the frat-boy comedy genre. It is based on a book of the same name written by Tucker Max. The book consists of allegedly true stories chronicling Tucker’s drunken escapades. The film mainly revolves around one of the major stories, and at the same time incorporates some of the best jokes from the other ones. Although it suffers from some minor problems, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell is ultimately a funny and entertaining film. However, because of its crude and profane level of comedy, it may not appeal to a wide audience.
The main character of the film is Tucker Max (Matt Czuchry), a guy who speaks his mind no matter what. He lacks the social filter that allows people to communicate well. He is also portrayed as a selfish, haughty and obnoxious individual who seems to have no regard for the consequences of his actions. I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell opens with Max planning a special bachelor party for his best friend, Dan (Geoff Stults) at a unique strip club 200 miles away. They bring along their friend Drew (Jesse Bradford), a young man who was recently cheated on by a long-time girlfriend and has sworn off women.
The night gets exponentially worse for the boys until finally the groom-to-be ends up in jail. This causes a rift between Tucker and his friends, and thereby thrusts the antihero into unfamiliar territory. Tucker has to choose to take responsibility for his actions for the first time in his life, or lose his friends once and for all.
Matt Czuchry is frighteningly effective as the arrogant Tucker Max. His performance seems effortless and he successfully walks the tightrope of being unrelenting while simultaneously sympathetic. Geoff Stults does an adequate job with his role as Tucker’s best friend, and Keri Lynn Pratt does her best with the small role she was given as the bride-to-be. However, it is Jesse Bradford who steals every scene he’s in. His deadpan portrayal and quick delivery garner some of the biggest laughs of the film.
Unfortunately, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell suffers from an overflow of clichés. The plot is very similar to other movies of the same genre and therefore predictable all the way through.
Still, these problems are overshadowed by the onslaught of hilarious one-liners, as well as the efficient line reading from the cast. Although the acting is more than formidable here, the real stars are the writers, whose hilarious jokes keep viewers entertained.
Nevertheless, these jokes can be considered overly offensive. There are people who will be disgusted and shocked by this film and its ludicrous antics. Of course, those viewers are not the intended audience for this movie. I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell also ran into issues with its hypocritical message and rushed last act, which has been a common problem with recent frat-boy comedies. Audiences should not expect to be given a moral or lesson from this movie.
Ultimately, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell is an above-average comedy with a hilarious plot and a cast of talented actors. The moments that do work in the movie greatly outweigh those that go too far with the crude humor.