Starring: Skyler Gisondo, Eduardo Franco, Dexter Darden, Vince Vaughn, Grace Van Dien, Zainne Saleh
OUR RATING: ★★½
Teen comedy directed by Jeremy Garelick. Set in a time where all drinking and drugs have been made completely illegal, except for one night a year. High school seniors, Griffin (Skyler Gisondo), Hags (Dexter Darden), and Andrew (Eduardo Franco) decide to make a pilgrimage to get to the best party in town where all their dreams will come true, friendships are tested, love lives rattled and their brains completely scrambled.
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Narrator: America, the not so distant future. The economy is failing. A despondent society has turned to self‐medication. Road fatalities, crime, public disturbance, voice theft, all at record highs. Something needed to be done. Congress bravely votes to establish a modern day Prohibition. Zero tolerance policy was adopted. Overnight, the use, sale, and manufacturing of all alcohol and narcotics of any kind became illegal.
Narrator: Soon to emerge was a better, sober America. Inebriation, once viewed as socially appropriate, was now taboo, with just one exception. Once a year, the embargo is lifted. Narcotics once confiscated by police are distributed to the highest bidder. For twelve hours every year, US citizens, eighteen and up, are legally allowed to participate in bill A2904, known colloquially as simply The Binge. God bless America.
Narrator: Studies show that providing this outlet to the populace just once a year
would combat their urge to indulge thereafter. In fact, only twenty-three percent of citizens
attempt a second binge. For a third, this number plummets to just six percent. Psychologists predict this mechanism may annihilate all clinical addiction by 2055. Whether or not you choose to participate, or are merely an innocent bystander, no one is left unaffected by The Binge.
[addressing the students]
Principal Carlsen: Guys, I only got two hobbies. Only two things I really spend my time on. That’s my woodworking, my elves, and that’s making hummus. And the other thing I do is protect the reputation of American High.
Sarah: My mom told me she used to drink wine from a box on the way home from work in college.
Kimmi: We were born like way too late.
Principal Carlsen: Now unfortunately for those of you that do decide to Binge tonight, all the regular laws, well, those are still in place, and breaking those laws have consequences.
[as they’re listening to Carlsen]
Hags: Yeah, consequences like you playing p**is Jenga with his daughter!
Griffin: Will you be quiet? Lena almost heard you say p**is Jenga.
[referring to Lena]
Hags: See, bro, you got to get her attention!
Griffin: I know. I’m working on it. You just, you got to let me do it my way, you know.
Hags: By writing a confusing sonnet?
Griffin: It’s not a sonnet. It’s a series of haikus, and I’m asking her to prom today.
[addressing the students]
Principal Carlsen: But the jet ski was still attached to the dock, and it never took off. And then eventually it exploded into flames. Now, Kimberly Jones is here tonight. Can you guys guess which one she is? I’ll give you a hint.
[he points to one side of him where some teachers are sat]
Principal Carlsen: You’re cold. Cold.
[he then points to the other side, where a woman with bandages on her face is sat]
Principal Carlsen: Getting warmer. Getting warmer. Red hot. Burning hot. That’s Kimberly Jones. Wrapped up like a mummy because she’s ashamed of the way she looks.
Principal Carlsen: She works here at the high school. She makes the butterscotch pudding, and she does a wonderful job. We’re proud of you, Kim. And she’s never really allowed up before lunch, because again, she’s disgusting and revolting to look at, and it’ll make your stomach churn, and make you unable to eat. And on that note, please stop emailing me, Kim, about the Fantas in the mini‐fridge. I’m going to explode. I’ve said it to you six times. I want to treat you like a lady today, in front of everybody. Because you are one.
[referring to his failed attempt to make the students in assembly laugh]
Hags: Man, did I misread the room.
Andrew: Oh, I thought it was funny.
Hags: Thank you, Andrew, but I don’t need your sympathies. I was just rejected by my peers, and I’m in a bit of a fragile state.
Spencer Wider: I heard if you do Molly, and drink a Mountain Dew, you start to see the future, but it doesn’t even pertain to you at all.
Student: My older cousin saw some random dude in Wisconsin’s future.
Dan Grant: Other Man’s Future Syndrome. Sick.
[as Griffin refuses to Binge and the overalls Hags got him to wear]
Hags: Okay, see, you are Binge‐ing. And overalls are chick magnets, man. They say if you keep it tight up top, below the waist, it’s anyone’s guess.
Griffin: Who says that? Who says that about overalls?
Hags: I do. And Lena’s going to love them.
Kathleen: I heard if you eat mushrooms, and sacrifice an animal, your entire world turns into a musical.
Hags: There’s no way that’s true, Kathleen!
Hags: So you know my senior shop project I told you I was working on?
Griffin: Yeah, man. The one you had the GoFundMe for when you were building the reusable hydration systems for third world countries. I was really proud of you for doing that.
Hags: Yeah, man. F*** hydration. I lied. I put that money to much better use.
Griffin: I donated seventy-five dollars.
[referring to his BoozeCycle]
Hags: Is it a car? Kind of. Is it a bicycle? Almost. Griffin, this thing f***s!
Griffin: I mean, it does. It’s really cool. It’s just, how would we even pedal it with two people? There’s ten seats.
Hags: Hey, why you got to be so negative, bro?
Griffin: I love you, okay. I really do. And I appreciate you getting me a wristband, and stealing from all those people who desperately need clean water to build a BoozeCycle.
Hags: Which is awesome.
Griffin: It is. But I’m just going to stick to tradition. Do Root Beer Goat‐Night with our parents, and wake up tomorrow to continue my extended reign as mayor of Virgin City.
[Lena overhears as she comes up behind them]
Lena: Good to know, Mr. Mayor.
[after Hags referred to Griffin as Babe: Pig In The City]
Griffin: [awkwardly] I have a normal sized hog. Probably no different than the next one. Not that I’ve seen, but naturally you do find yourself in positions where you see other hogs, and in those situations, I found that my hog is comparable, if not the same in thickness to those.
Lena: That’s good to know.
Lena: So are you going to Binge?
Griffin: After your dad’s speech? You’d have to be a certified dip‐s**t to go out tonight.
Lena: Well, I guess I’m the mayor of Dip‐S**t City, because I’m seriously thinking about it.
Griffin: Me too, by the way. I was completely joking before about the dip‐s**t thing.
Sarah: The package is basically fully stocked with like colorful frozen drinks and tiny umbrellas.
Kimmi: I f***ing love tiny umbrellas. Do you think pink drinks too? Because my grandmother’s seen this show, it’s called Sex and the City, and they would just drink pink alcohol and have meaningless sex with strangers of foreign descent.
Sarah: I would do disgusting things to a foreign guy tonight. I’m talking full spit roast.
Kimmi: You’re going to the Library Party?
Hags: Hell, yeah. I’m going to the Library Party. And I’m hoping that you’ll check me out.
Sarah: For what purpose?
Kimmi: Excuse me?
Hags: Uh, isn’t that a saying?
Sarah: No, it’s not. Words have consequences, Hags.
Hags: Okay, that’s what it is. It’s the language barrier thing. That’s what it was. Because I’m from another place. I’m fully foreign.
Sarah: Have you ever even been on a plane?
Hags: Hell, yeah. I’ve been on a plane. Of course. I’m actually a current cardholder of the mile high club.
Sarah: Oh, yeah?
Hags: And the big d**k club.
Sarah: Well, why don’t you whip it out and show us?
Hags: Mmm. You see, I would, but they keep the band room real cold. It’s not really a accurate depiction of my genitalia.
Sarah: That’s what I thought. Virgin.
[as he enters the boys locker room]
Principal Carlsen: Kurt, how come I never see you with your shorts off? Seem a little locker room shy. Want to see how a man walks around the locker room? Want to take a look at it? I’ll pull my pants down, I’ll go take a s**t, I’ll get in the shower. You want to watch it? Whatever it is, get comfortable with it. It ain’t going away.
[in the boys locker room]
Principal Carlsen: One shake and you’re done, Tommy. No one wants to watch your d**kplay in here. At your age, you’re a hair‐trigger. You’re liable to blow all over the place. Have a story about you for the rest of your life. You want that? Put the d**k down.
Principal Carlsen: [to Griffin] I’m pretty okay with my daughter being friends with a nice Brown man.
Principal Carlsen: Let me walk that back just a little bit. That’s not the kind of quote that you want taken out of context. Congratulations on getting into a great university, Brown.
Principal Carlsen: Since we’re talking about scratching each other’s backs, I have just the smallest little itch I was wondering if you could get your fingernails on. It’s called “Where the f*** is the party tonight?” Sarah Martin’s “Dank‐A** Pre‐Game” is already on my radar. I understand they’re thinking of smoking a little bit of pot. Maybe some Lean? A little Purple Drank. You know what I’m talking about?
Griffin: Oh, I do. But I wouldn’t. I personally wouldn’t sniff glue, or drink Purple Drank, or just associate with Sarah Martin at all.
Principal Carlsen: Well, that’s good. That b**ch has chaotic energy. She’s like a scorpion in a toaster.
Principal Carlsen: And Hags, do me a favor. Try to find a nickname that’s a little bit more normal. Something like Lucas or Quan.
Principal Carlsen: You know, there’s a prank turd in the chemistry lab. I was wondering if you could be an angel, sweep in and scoop that up.
Griffin: I would love to do that.
Principal Carlsen: Thank you, Quan.
Hags: F***! Quan? Who the f*** is Quan?!
Narrator: And so it begins. As school lets out, sirens pierce the air, informing the civilian population of what’s to come. For some, a warning. To those not participating, to get home, bunker down, and pray for safety. For others, it’s the sound of celebration, excess, freedom. Underground competitions known as Gauntlets capture the nation’s attention. Creating local legends in those who win and lasting memories for all who compete.
[as he sees Hags’s parent and his wife fall asleep]
Griffin’s Dad: Hey, everybody. What’s happening here? Too early to fall asleep. I bought Big Bang Theory Clue.
[as their parents fall asleep]
Griffin: Hags, did you do something?
Hags: No! I just gave them a couple sleeping pills.
Griffin: You roofied our parents?!
Hags: I did not roofie our parents. The pills were in their medicine cabinet.
Hags: Griffin, I was lying when I said I wasn’t scared. I am scared. But I’m not scared about
what’s going to happen tonight. I’m scared about what’s going to happen after tonight. You’re going to Brown. And I’m going to be stuck here working at Chuck E. Cheese. And that’s life, Griff. Look, you go and you beat that Dr. Seuss promposal a**hole to the punch. You look Lena in the eyes and tell her exactly what you’ve wanted to tell her your entire life.
Hags: Tonight we become legends, Griffin. We go to that party and we win that Gauntlet. This is our last chance to make a great memory.
Griffin: Wow! That was really good. That was good.
Griffin: Did you practice that?
Hags: A couple of times. Yeah.
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