SAUSAGE PARTY NOT DEEP ENOUGH TO GO BEYOND JUST THE TIP

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“You’re cleverer than you look Q.” says Bond.

“Still better looking than clever you are.” Replies Q.

-Die Another Day

I wonder in such a witty exchange who the makers of Sausage Party see themselves as?

Sausage Party is the anti-Pixar film, a delicious concept in itself and arrives with low brow humour and social commentary. Rogen and his pals understand it’s nice to have some meat on the bones to get people invested; they make their characters likeable and try to say something deep about the human condition along with all the dick jokes. They half succeed. Their ambition here is laudable and the finale really goes for it but I doubt a year from now we’ll be talking about this as a classic of the comedy genre. They’ve fared better making fun of their own celebrity in This is the End and taking shots at Kim Jong Il in The Interview.

A bunch of Weenies (amongst them Seth Rogen as Frank [geddit]) sit in their packets on a supermarket shelf waiting to be bought by the Gods (humans) and taken to the great beyond (the sliding doors at the front of the store) so they can live happily ever after snuggled inside the buns (amongst them Kristen Wiig as Brenda Bunson) next to them. They’ve sat around the store their whole existence waiting to do this. Then one day on the eve of July 4 celebrations, a bottle of Honey Mustard (Danny McBride) comes back talking about horrendous things the Gods do to food having been returned to the store as faulty. Mustard isn’t going back and as the buns and weenies get purchased he seeks to escape the shopping trolley. In the ensuring chaos the food gets separated and so begins a long night of some trying to return to the store and others trying to find out the truth of existence.

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Lots of food types of national origins stand in for potshots at those races and culture. The filmmakers are criticising stereotypes and making fun of them too. Commentary about faith ensures, homophobia, slut shaming, the rule of the mob, a Lavash (David Krumholtz) and Bagel (Edward Norton doing an amazing Woody Allenesque voice) don’t know how to share their aisle while the weenie off to the side casually asks “Isn’t there enough aisle to share it?” The West Bank has a square area of 5,640km2, the state of Palestine has a square area of 6,220km2, Israel has a square area of 22,072km2 and the United States of America has a square area of 9,833,517km2. I don’t know why I mentioned that. There’s a Taco voiced by Salma Hayek who might be into buns as much weenies are and a Douche (Nick Kroll) with roid rage who gets his strength from doing things that he wants to be clear don’t make him gay. Some of this is dumb and some of this is smart and even some of it is funny.

red band trailer

When taking the piss out of themselves or genres the film is fairly effective but it ultimately has nothing deep to say. It’s akin to someone pointing out things and saying how silly it all is which is observant but without really offering any insight and solution. Not many of us have answers anymore anyway so that’s fair enough but the best comedy will do that. In the meantime, I’ll come clean I’ve laughed my ass off during the already infamous finale. I remembered a story Mel Brooks once related about what he was told during the making of Blazing Saddles “In comedy if you’re going to go up to the door and knock on it, make sure you’re prepared to step through.” These guys have well and truly entered the house of bad taste and even though I didn’t always laugh throughout I can’t help but applaud them for their audacity.

-Lloyd Marken

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2 comments on “SAUSAGE PARTY NOT DEEP ENOUGH TO GO BEYOND JUST THE TIP

  1. beetleypete says:

    Not sure about this one. Sounds like it might have worked.
    Regards, Pete.

    • Lloyd Marken says:

      I’m not sure about it either. On the one hand I admire it’s originality and ambitious vulgarity. On the other hand some of it bores and the satire is not as clever or as funny as the makers obviously hope it is. Out of the group I saw it with most of us came out a little shell shocked by the content. It’s not a film you’d recommend even if you liked it because it’s not for everyone and you’d worry how it would reflect upon you. Most of us weren’t big fans, it can feel tedious at times but I defiantly came forward and admitted I laughed during the orgy. Was I proud of it? Did I understand why I laughed? Did I have a good reason for it? No. It just made me laugh and I’m not going to deny it. 🙂

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