Blogger/author Tucker Max makes no bones about the fact that he’s his own biggest fan, and the biggest promoter of the self-distributed film version of his memoir I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell. In a natural extension of his website and book, he’s gone on a self-aggrandizing tour promoting the film, performing exactly the kind of sex-and-booze-fueled publicity stunts his fans expect. Given his much-vaunted narcissistic dedication to himself and his pleasures, then, it’s distinctly odd that the film has so little to do with Tucker Max (played here by Matt Czuchry, Gilmore Girls’ Logan).
Instead, it focuses on two of his friends, played by Jesse Bradford (Swimfan) and Geoff Stults (7th Heaven). The latter is getting married, which prompts Czuchry’s Max to suggest a road trip to a distant strip club. They drag along Bradford, a seething victim of female infidelity who spends much of the film glaring at women and distributing venomous bon mots like “Get away from me or I’m going to carve another fuckhole in your torso.” He’s too creepy about his misogyny to be funny, and Czuchry and Stults don’t seem to enjoy his company; then again, for all their supposed bro-tacular bonhomie, they don’t like each other much, either, and as the story drags on, they like each other steadily less.
As the screenwriter, Max inexplicably wrote himself out of much of the film, leaving Bradford’s bile and Stults’ hard-luck, drunken misadventures at center stage. Which is strange, given that his name and his Internet fame is about the only thing dividing Beer In Hell from any number of similar cheapie sexcapade comedies. While the film does pay reverent homage to Max’s pickup-artist stylings—when he broadly insults a group of women in a bar, their panties practically drop automatically—it devolves into a standard morality play, as Max’s frat-boy shenanigans destroy his friendship with Stults, and he has to learn an oh-so-important lesson about not being such a selfish dick. (Cue the violins.) I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell is too smug and nasty to find a broad audience, but it’s likely to baffle the core fans, who’ll tune in hoping for unrepentant assholery, and will instead get an indifferently shot, unexceptional tale of a man-child trying to grow up. Tucker Max’s only real strengths are his outrageousness and his uncompromising self-confidence, but neither comes into play in this punch-pulling, frankly boring film.