SXSW 2019 Review: THE BEACH BUM

By Jan Hamilton

Synopsis Source: SXSW

The Beach Bum follows the hilarious misadventures of Moondog (Matthew McConaughey), a rebellious rogue who always lives life by his own rules. Co-starring Snoop Dog, Zac Efron, and Isla Fisher, The Beach Bum is a refreshingly original and subversive new comedy from
director Harmony Korine (Kids, Spring Breakers). 

Moondog (Matthew McConaughey) is a good natured drunk, the life of  every party, and an undiscriminating womanizer. He’s also a former revered poet and the husband of Minnie (Isla Fisher) a rich woman who adores him. The fact that she has been having an affair for years with family friend Lingerie (Snoop Dogg) has no bearing on her affection for Moondog, who is rarely home. He barely makes his daughter’s wedding on time and later, a night of drunk driving ends with the death
of a main character. Though he is responsible, we see little evidence of grief or guilt. After some additional trouble, he must choose between jail or rehab, and because of conditions in Minnie’s will, he also will inherit nothing if he does not finish his long-delayed new book.     

Although he does begin writing again, his behavior does not change. He is self-centered without being selfish, he beds anyone who catches his eye, but he is a little taken aback when he discovers his
wife’s affair. He is a supposed literary genius, but chooses to fritter away his life in joyous drunkenness. Is he really happy? The film seems to answer “yes”. This was not my favorite film, but it is a fun ride, with a variety of offbeat cameo roles.  Do you care to take the trip?

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