Before the pandemic, I loved to casually enjoy a nice glass of wine or a creative cocktail during a night out. These days, I yearn for my mega-sized martini at the end of every Friday with the passion of a thousand burning suns. Without it (and other drinks), I’m not sure what my mental state would be now that we’re over a year into this thing and my kids are continuing to bounce off the walls at home and I’m still trying to juggle work and life and GAHHHHHHHHHH.
So here’s to booze — and movies about booze.
Five you can toast to are:
Another Round – Talk about having a buzz—this Scandinavian film (there are subtitles) starring Mads Mikkelsen has been soaking up some serious love from both critics and audiences alike. It’s racked up BAFTA, Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations in the Best Foreign Language/International Film category, and luckily it’s now streaming through Redbox On Demand. It’s about a group of friends (including Mads’ character) who run an experiment to see if maintaining a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .05 consistently throughout the day is the key to happiness. It’s hilarious … but I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that there are also some serious repercussions when the men decide to take the experiment one step further.
Beerfest – You’ll probably want to throw back a few before watching this one, because it is just silly. Written by the comedy troupe Broken Lizard (the guys behind cult faves Super Troopers and Super Troopers 2), it’s about brothers who travel to Oktoberfest in Germany and stumble upon a secret beer-games competition that they become determined to win. It’s got the kind of dumb humor that a couple of beers might just put you in the mood for.
Strange Brew – We can’t forget about another pair of beer-loving brothers up north! Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas (who also co-directed) team up as the infamous McKenzie brothers from Canada in this 1983 classic. The McKenzies are on a never-ending quest for free beer, which leads them to work at a brewing company where they … uncover a mind-control scheme led by the Brewmeister (Max von Sydow). I know that is not where you thought this plot description was going.
Sideways – If wine’s your thing, this is the (Oscar-winning) movie for you. See Paul Giamatti and a never-better Thomas Haden Church (who earned an Oscar nod for his performance) as two middle-aged friends who meet characters played by Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh on a road trip to California’s wine country. Giamatti’s character is something of a wine obsessive, and his effusive praise for pinot noir (and bashing of merlot) actually had a tangible effect on wine sales — even to this day. We should expect nothing less from celebrated director Alexander Payne!
Drinking Buddies – And finally we come to this charming indie starring a dream cast of Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick and Ron Livingston. I’ll be honest that this one is more about relationship drama than booze, but two of the characters do work at a Chicago-based craft brewery and there is lots of lots of talk about craft beer. You can actually watch Drinking Buddies for FREE on Redbox.com right now if you’re OK with some ads — or you can rent or buy it through Redbox On Demand. Either way, don’t miss it.
Cheers to whatever movie you pick!