Jennifer Merin reviews “Beerfest”
Beerfest is a comedy brewed by the brood of improv actors (Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, Erik Stolhanske and Jay Chandrasekhar, who also directed), collectively known as Broken Lizard. They attended Colgate University together, formed a NY theater company together, moved to LA and into film together, and then produced four features (Puddle Cruiser, Super Troopers, Club Dread and The Dukes of Hazzard) together. Beerfest is their current froth.
The half-baked pretzel-like plot twists around two American brothers determined to claim their German ancestral heritage– an aristocratic title and ownership of the famous family brewery. The storys salted with sophomoric, rampantly salacious humor.
When the boys visit Bavaria to scatter their recently deceased dads ashes, their evil and conniving cousins tell them their father was born out of wedlock, their beloved and still kicking Great Gam Gam (Cloris Leachman) had been a serving-girl-cum-whore and that the American branch of the family had stolen the brewerys beer formula. Even worse, the cousins out-drink the brothers at Beerfest, the annual beer drinking competition held clandestinely in the family crypt which doubles as a concealed beer hall,
The brothers vow revenge– theyll enlist a team of beer brawlers to defeat the cousins at the following years bout by guzzling dozens of steins of suds, bouncing balls into mugs and trick drinking from das boot. The action flows: beer barrels are tossed, rivals come to fisticuffs, and a brigade of lovely frauleins drop their dirndles to bare their breasts. Cant you just imagine the hilarity of it all?
You might want to down some suds before entering the theater– this film might be a bit funnier if youre tipsy. And, if youre bored by the films soberer sections, the need to empty your full bladder is always a good excuse to excuse yourself for a scene or two. On the other hand, youll want to relieve yourself before Cloris Leachman jerks off (yes, she really does) a big, fat, juicy-looking wiener and calls one of the bad clan a real Deutchbag.
Other than that truly nauseating moment and pants-wetting line, Beerfest gushes with lamentably lowbrow humor– that beer dowsing, off-key yodeling, fake tits popping out all over the place kind of humor– that drives testosterone-driven, post-pubescent, pre-grad males and their female cohorts whore seeking summer breaks last laughs before settling in for a grueling semester absolutely wild.
And, since, Im not a member of that frat, hey, what the Hell do I know?