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Hip To Be Square: Part Two In a No-Doubt Ongoing Series

Say, does anyone remember when the trailer for The Hangover was released a few months ago? All the pop culture trailer reviewers were like, “oh my, this looks like the best!” Okay, yes. So, does anyone remember when the trailer for I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell was released last week? All the pop culture trailer reviewers were like, “oh, no, it feels like someone pooped directly into my eyeball!”

Okay. So, hey, has anyone noticed that they are basically the same trailer?

Weird, right? You can’t attribute the different critical reactions to changing tastes, since they’re only being released a few months apart. Nor can you attribute it to one movie being ripped off from the other, since they were probably being made at roughly the same time. I know that, last week, I did this fun little thought experiment where I compared mainstream frat-dude misogyny (DEPLORABLE!) to cute hip fashionable pseudo-indie misogyny (IRONIC!) and it turned out that they were basically the same thing and the differing reactions to them were attributable only to a phenomenon scientists refer to as “bullshit,” but let’s not jump to conclusions. Let’s puzzle out the vastly differing critical reactions to these no-doubt vastly different trailers step by step, with this handy checklist:

2) BAND OF BROS: Check!
5) STRIPPERS AS PUNCHLINES: Check, indeed! (Andy from The Office gets married to one! You can hear him scream the comedy-gold line “I married a whore” in a different version of the trailer; presumably later he gets down with her on the basis that she is not a castrating harpy.)
6) CONFRONTATION WITH POLICE: Check, again! It is getting pretty tiresome running down the list, actually. Oh, but:
8) PRESENCE OF BELOVED “INDIE” COMEDIAN (WHATEVER THE FUCK THAT MEANS) THAT ENSURES PEOPLE WILL GO SOFT ON THE WHOLE THING EVEN THOUGH SAID BELOVED INDIE COMEDIAN IS BASICALLY SIGNING UP TO BECOME WILL FERRELL (SOME OF US REFER TO THIS AS “SELLING OUT”): No! Sadly, I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell lacks this crucial element. Also, Tucker Max is beloved by gross sexist “frat boys” as opposed to gross sexist indie dudes (THOSE DON’T EXIST! INDIE DUDES ARE ALWAYS TOTES SENSITIVE AND COOL AND UNCONVENTIONAL, ha ha, J/K), so that’s a strike against it. This movie looks terrible. Fire away, everybody!

So, there you have it. Zach Galifianakis is basically a pair of gold hologram leggings. Glad I could help you puzzle this one out.


  1. Amanda wrote:

    Part of me hopes that the Tucker Max movie is about how Tucker Max manages to ruin the lives of his friends, and why no one should ever, ever befriend or sleep with a guy like him…
    But then I remember what society is like. And I just shake my head.

    Sunday, August 9, 2009 at 3:17 pm | Permalink
  2. Moira wrote:

    I really hate Will Ferrell. He's not funny. I have no idea why so many people think he is. Every time a trailer for one of his movies comes on I say "Oh look it's Will Ferrell playing an abusive jerkass again. How edgy and ironical."

    Sunday, August 9, 2009 at 3:35 pm | Permalink
  3. Gnatalby wrote:

    I actually watched The Hangover two weekends ago (don't worry, I did not give money to it! I happened to be in the company of a bunch of dudes who had this as their evening plan before I showed up to their bbq, and I didn't feel like having it out just then, though I did not refrain from making MANY snarky comments throughout) and I feel I should note that in the movie, it's not "Paging Dr. Douchebag" it's "Paging Dr. Faggot."

    Perhaps if you deem something too offensive to say in your trailer, it should be too offensive to say at all. It's seriously just back to back gay jokes throughout the "film."

    Sunday, August 9, 2009 at 4:00 pm | Permalink
  4. Roxie wrote:

    The trailer for the 2nd movie doesn't have the distractions of that the first trailer has.

    You've pointed out the Zach as the "beloved "indie" comedian" (which I didn't know he was. I think I assume everyone I've heard of is FAMOUS), but there's also the perceived randomness of the tiger, the chicken, the baby…And then Mike Tyson

    These things would (most likely) still be funny w/o several of things in that you've listed. So they add this extra special comedy buffer that Tucker Max's movie just doesn't have.

    I guess they think it just looks SO GOOD they don't need that to trick folks into thinking it might be worth seeing.

    Sunday, August 9, 2009 at 5:41 pm | Permalink
  5. snobographer wrote:

    If only they could have gotten Dmitri Martin to do a supporting role in IHTSBIH, it would have all been okay.
    A quirky cameo appearance from Jonah Hill would have been box office gold!

    Sunday, August 9, 2009 at 6:51 pm | Permalink
  6. samanthab. wrote:

    I think it is the dishevelled hair and beard that gives Zach indie cred. 30 minutes less in the makeup chair, and you have license to perform any and all assine scripts. He's a frizzy Samson of unimaginative comedy.

    Monday, August 10, 2009 at 8:41 am | Permalink
  7. tor wrote:


    I hate Will Ferrell too. Actually I find I have an inexplicable visceral reaction to him: he is incredibly repulsive for reasons I can't quite articulate.

    As for why the trailers were received differently, I reckon it's partly the ages of the characters. One has young, obnoxious, privileged dudebros. And the other has kooky, aging manchildren.

    Also, when I saw the trailer for The Hangover, the movie seemed like it was basically the morning-after scene of Fear and Loathing, only really drawn out. That probably appeals to people for the "edge" factor.

    Monday, August 10, 2009 at 9:44 am | Permalink
  8. rosered2318 wrote:

    I would think that the reason the first movie was well received is because all the guys are really super sorry about it and normally they wouldn't act like that and it was just the liquor and boys will be boys!

    I would think the reason the second is not is because it is completely unapologetic about being mysoginistic. And, not to defend the movie because I find them both equally appalling, but at least the Tucker Max movie doesn't fool women into thinking that it is okay to have a guy who completely devalues the women in his life so long as he is really sorry about it and won't do it again.

    Monday, August 10, 2009 at 11:58 am | Permalink
  9. tinfoil hattie wrote:

    The icing on the cake – the heroic appearance of woman-pummeler Mike Tyson. What, was O.J. busy?

    Monday, August 10, 2009 at 5:52 pm | Permalink
  10. Tom wrote:

    My 81-year old grandmother recently saw The Hangover with one of her friends and thought it was funny. I am expecting to find pork in the treetops come morning.

    Tuesday, August 11, 2009 at 8:53 pm | Permalink
  11. Katie wrote:

    Ah. I could have gone my entire life without knowing there was a Tucker Max movie. In college, one of my male friends lost a lot of weight (something in the neighborhood of 60 lbs.), and overnight went from being a really nice, normal guy to this complete d-bag who worshiped Tucker Max. When he'd give some really lame, misogynist explanation for why he'd been a complete asshole to some girl recently, he'd always reference Tucker Max. "Just read it on Tucker Max's website. It's all there." As if Tucker Max is a reputable source for dating advice and being a semi-decent human being.

    I don't know if he ever got over that crap. When I started having dreams where I was punching him in the face, I realized it was probably time to end the friendship. I despise Tucker Max. And…actually, most of the dumb boy comedy movies.

    Wednesday, August 12, 2009 at 8:50 am | Permalink