Director: Harmony Korine
Release Date: March 29, 2019
Matthew McConaughey leads this star-studded cast as a burned-out writer, Moondog, who loves drinking PBR, smoking weed and L I V I N. Moondog is as carefree as they come. When he’s not wearing women’s clothes or nothing at all, he is regularly dressed like Guy Fieri . He’s that one wildcard friend that always gets you into some shit when you go out.. McConaughey went full-on bongo drums McConaughey in this one.
Moondog is in an open relationship with his stupid-rich wife, Minnie (Isla Fisher). He fucks anything with a pulse, and when they’re apart she spends her time with an R&B singer named Lingerie (Snoop Dogg). They’re clearly in love but Moondog is no longer the motivated writer that she married. Seeing Moondog waste his talent, she puts him in a situation that forces him to write, as he calls it, “the next great American novel.” That’s where the plot of the film takes off, if you can even call it a plot at all. Oh, and Moondog doesn’t write novels. He writes poetry.
There is no one main plot but rather a collection of smaller stories that Moondog stumbles into while on his journey. He has run-ins with some of the most unusual characters. Whether he’s getting high with Jimmy Buffet or mugging an elderly man with a diehard Creed fan (Zac Efron) who he met in rehab, to say Moondog’s life is unpredictable would be an understatement.
The Beach Bum is a true stoner-comedy. It’s over the top in a way that makes you think that maybe if you were high you’d actually get it. Director Harmony Korine is swinging for the fences and striking out. Some of the adventures we go on with Moondog are insane in a good way and others drag and fall flat. Moondog isn’t likeable enough to follow around for 90 minutes and is often annoying when the jokes don’t land. The smaller roles from Jonah Hill, Zac Efron and Martin Lawrence are all funnier and stick around for an optimal amount of time before we can get sick of them.
At the South by Southwest premier of Harmony Korine’s “The Beach Bum”, the audience was given scratch-and-sniff cards to enhance their experience. The card had four images corresponding with scenes from the movie that indicated when to use each scent. All four scents were of weed. They’re all in on the bit, and what better way to have a little fun with it than to give out cards that smell like every beach bum’s favorite drug?
Matthew McConaughey has been going through a rough patch. From 2013-2014, McConaughey won an academy award for Dallas Buyer’s Club, earned an Emmy nomination for True Detective and starred in Interstellar, a film that grossed $677 million. Since that run, he’s been in Free State of Jones, Gold, The Dark Tower, White Boy Rick and what many, including us, are calling the worst film of 2019, Serenity. The Beach Bum continues this losing streak. The Beach Bum’s reported opening weekend earnings of $1.8 million are the lowest of McConaughey’s career.