Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Beach Bums (2011)

This is the latest film from the award-winning filmmaker Anthony Spadaccini, who is also responsible for the "Head Case" films. This film is considerably lighter fare than those serial-killer films, though, so you don't have to worry about watching this comedy with the whole family. The tagline for this movie is "And you thought YOUR vacation was bad." Actually, I've taken a beach vacation in my life, but nothing that rivals the experience of the main character in this film, a clumsy, down-on-his-luck guy named Trevor who can't seem to catch a break. This movie kind of made me want to go to the beach, but if I ever do decide to try taking a beach vacation again, remind me to book it as far away from the people in this movie as possible.

Trevor is the first character we meet in this film, and he's a goofy guy who sleeps with a teddy bear and has a dead-end job and a boss who seems to want to seduce him, so it's easy to feel sorry for him at first (even as we wonder how he can afford to book a beach vacation when he just lost his job...needless to say, Trevor's not the brightest bulb on the tree). Also, I have to say that once Trevor arrives at the beach, he really is responsible for most of what happens next: an escalating fight that starts when Trevor decides to steal from a fellow beach bum. The bulk of the movie shows Trevor's feud with this guy, and I don't know why he thought he could win a battle like this when he can't even figure out how to work an umbrella, or a screen door, or a folding chair...he can't even eat an ice-cream cone without injuring himself somehow.

Fortunately, injury for Trevor means fun for the audience! The comedy in this movie is of the slapstick variety, with the oafish Trevor getting into one ridiculous situation after another and managing to trip, fall, and nearly drown several times throughout the course of the film. One particularly funny sequence finds Trevor buried in the sand, trapped helplessly while his arch nemesis throws wet wads of paper at his head. I'd like to try that with a few people I know.

This movie is a fun throwback to the fun slapstick comedies of the silent film era. It really is fun for the whole family, too - the eight year old girl I was babysitting was giggling right along with me.