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On a night when I’d felt as though I’d seen everything on my streaming services, I came across a film that I knew absolutely nothing about: Drunk Parents. I looked at the stellar cast, and thought I’d give it a try, because, I said to myself, “Alec Baldwin always delivers.” It turned out to be a gem of very dark humor, political incorrectness and imaginative situations.
When rich people lose their money, desperation, invention and hilarity ensues. The jokes feature physical comedy, brand and product placement, wine snobbery, character humiliations, obscure sensibilities, jabs at spoiled kids, Craig’s list and e-bay. My favorite was a short rant about Warren Beatty’s little-known oeuvre Mickey One, a notable wink to film nerds. Plus, the soundtrack features notable new music by Andrew Feltenstein and John Nau.
The best thing about this film is that my companion and I laughed so hard and so often that we forgot about Covid-19, election insanity and our own problems. Seeing these outrageous escapades provided escapist humor.
In an era when many people are losing their jobs, being furloughed or just plain out of work, it’s comforting to see people who apparently have bigger problems and how they cope with them. The cast is notable for playing roles outside audience expectations. Comedian Jim Gaffigan in spandex, The Politician and Dear Evan Hansen’s Ben Platt in a wheelchair, Salma Hayek doing physical comedy while wearing “double Spanks.” Will Ferrell and Colin Quinn offer a combustible cameo. Added surprises for audiences include Treat Williams, Aasaf Mandvi, Joe Manganiello, Billions Dan Soder and Andy Spade.
Friends who’ve enjoyed films like Down and Out in Beverly Hills and Uncle Buck or the series Grace and Frankie. The film is called Drunk Parents, so the humor might resonate more with those of a parental age rather than children, teen or 20-something viewers. While parents may appreciate seeing their own challenges and struggles, younger audiences may be turned off by the very same things.
Salma Hayek shoeless and running for her life but always carrying a designer bag has a special humor for Salma fans who know that her husband IRL is François-Henri Pinault CEO of LVMH, which owns 75 luxury brands. It seems younger audiences may have unfavorably likened Drunk Parents to the films Bad Moms and Bad Teachers. But seasoned viewers will appreciate veteran SNL writers Fred Wolf and Peter Gauke’s delightful schadenfreude stew, in part because it may distress chronically politically correct viewers.
Where to watch it:
Free on Netflix or $2.99 on Amazon Video