Harmony Korine has been in the movie industry since he was a teenager. In that time he has made a name for himself in finding the humanity in the absurd, while also skewering society’s views of his subjects. Despite being somewhat of a polarizing figure, Korine has amassed quite the following, myself included, with my personal favorite being Julien Donkey-Boy. Sometimes his films do not always work as intended, but they are still unique amongst anything else being released, with a style all his own. While most of his directing efforts have had comedic bents or parts, The Beach Bum, his first feature since the very positive critical reception and successful box office run of Spring Breakers, is his first full-blown comedy.
Moondog (Matthew McConaughey) lives life on his own terms. The beloved poet and perpetual stoner lives in the Florida Keys with his wife Minnie (Isla Fisher). Her lover on the side Lingerie, Rie (Snoop Dogg) for short, is something Moondog doesn’t mind for the most part, as he constantly cheats as well. Literary agent Lewis (Jonah Hill) comes around, hoping to make a deal with Moondog. However, Moondog’s antics eventual land him in rehab.
Here, he meets kindred spirit Flicker (Zach Efron) and the two hatches a plan to blow the joint. They are successful, but the comfortable living, hard-partying lifestyle eventually catches up to everyone. On the day of his daughter, Heather’s (Stefania LaVie Owen) wedding to Limpdick (Joshua Ritter), a supposedly affectionate nickname, instead of attending, Moondog is heavily drinking at a bar. Can the charismatic but consistently unreliable Moondog ever get his act together?
“…beloved poet and perpetual stoner lives in the Florida Keys with his wife…”
Oddly enough, Korine seems to believe that Moondog doesn’t have to do that. There’s a quip by Minnie relatively early on that is something like “…one must accept that he (Moondog) is from another dimension.” Sure, the man likes to drink and do drugs. No judgment there, he is also not a hypocrite, as he is aware of Rie’s presence in his wife’s life. However, the movie thinks the drunken escapades of a super-rich white guy (Minnie’s net worth is $100 million+) is enlightening. They aren’t.