“The Beach Bum” (Neon)
By Catholic News Service
Relentlessly immoral and annoying comedy follows the exploits of a boorish hedonist (Matthew McConaughey) who is also, supposedly, a gifted writer as he pursues a Bohemian lifestyle in the Florida Keys. His rich wife (Isla Fisher) supports his antics even as she carries on an affair with one of his closest friends (Snoop Dogg), a high-profile rapper. His literary agent (Jonah Hill), exasperated by his failure to produce any new work, is less tolerant of his foibles as, too, is his somewhat straitlaced daughter (Stefania LaVie Owen).
Drunk, stoned and on the prowl for sex, the protagonist is also not above engaging in violent robbery when his fortunes take a turn for the worse, his victim being a frail senior citizen. That this is treated as a lark in writer-director Harmony Korine’s meandering script is symptomatic of the overall irresponsibility and ethics-free outlook of his film.
Benignly viewed criminality, drug use, adultery and casual sex, graphic scenes of aberrant sexual activity, frequent nudity, brief nonlethal violence, some extremely gory images, a few uses of profanity, a milder oath, pervasive rough and crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is O — morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.