See This Instead

The posters and previews for I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell are slowly killing my soul.

I’m sure this appeals to a demographic of people out there (the crowd who gets off on the whole “Men Behaving Badly” genre) and to each his own, I say. I know I won’t be in the theaters for it.*

Instead, I’m going to watch this movie again.


Yes, it was also made from a book. Yes, it’s also a true story. And yes, it was made all the way back in 1987. Anthony Hopkins is no spring chicken (was he EVER a spring chicken?) and Anne Bancroft isn’t going to be on the cover of Maxim any time soon (the most recent reason because she passed away in 2005).

But the story is simple- a brassy New Yorker in the ’40s writes a letter to a fussy little English bookshop, looking for a few specific secondhand books. A man in the bookshop sends her said-books and they begin writing to each other, eventually sharing their lives over the course of a few very turbulent decades.

It’s about love and connection on the most basic of levels and it’s full of warmth in all directions. Is there anything better than reaching out for understanding and friendship and seeing a reply in kind? Watching it unfold on screen is pure pleasure. It’s a slow, sweet movie and they likely won’t make one like it ever again.

And, as an added benefit, it won’t make you feel waves of crushing despair about your own generation.

* Also, can I just say once and for all that they WON’T serve beer to you in hell. Because it’s hell. And you LIKE beer, right? So why would they serve you something you like in hell? I really don’t think you thought that through.

It’s more likely that your hell will be filled with smart, self-confident, self-respecting women who know better than to give you the time of day. The end.

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