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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

what’s the best mix of movies and alcohol?

Sideways Paul Giamatti Thomas Haden Church

So this happened on Twitter recently:


And there are the beginnings of the Question for this week. To be fair to those who don’t feel the need to watch movies completely roaring drunk, I’ll expand it a little:

What’s the best mix of movies and alcohol? Do you enjoy certain crappy movies more if you’re drunk? Does a bottle of wine or a couple of beers make certain good movies more enjoyable? And have you ever regretted a movie the morning after?

This will probably apply to at-home movie viewing for most of you. Though there are places such as the Alamo Drafthouse — or many critics screenings in London — where alcohol can be part of a cinema experience.


(If you have a suggestion for a Question, feel free to email me.)

  • Jan_Willem

    Some thirty years ago me and a friend went to see the Michael Palin vehicle The Missionary in Amsterdam. We missed an early showing, so we killed the time in a nearby pub that served some excellent and rather potent Belgian beers. Our inebriation certainly contributed to our subsequent merriment in the cinema, especially about Michael Hordern as the clueless butler who keeps losing his way in the stately home where he works. When I re-watched the film on TV many, many years later I didn’t find it anywhere near as hilarious. (Incidentally, I have found that many comic films become funnier if watched in the company of others, the hilariously crappy 2012 being a case in point.)

  • David N-T

    In the category of good films that are improved when watched under the influence, The Big Lebowski is a film that is best viewed under a pretty strict, uh, drug regimen to keep the mind limber.

  • Bluejay

    Generally I like to be sober when watching movies. I like operating at full mental capacity to appreciate whatever I’m getting from the screen.

    Having said that, there is at least one movie that I haven’t seen, but that I have no doubt will be enhanced by inebriation. And that movie is Sharknado.

  • Nope. The wife and I watched that Saturday night while drinking wine, and it really didn’t help it at all. It’s so awful it’s terrible.

  • My wife and I have a Saturday night ritual of drinking wine and watching bad movies. Mostly cheesy horror movies, but also choice picks from the free On Demand section. Indeed, some have been improved, but only if they already have a spark of decency in them. Bad movies stay bad even with wine. Doesn’t mean we don’t laugh and have fun while watching them.

  • Stormy

    If I’m watching a movie to follow the storyline, I’d rather be sober. If I’m watching a movie to laugh like a loon and/or scream like an idiot, I enjoy a few beers. Bad horror movies + beer = Thoroughly entertaining night in.

  • Bluejay

    Too bad. Maybe I should stick to reading hilarious articles written about it.

  • FormerlyKnownAsBill

    my friends and i drink with the characters in a few select movies from time to time. stoli with Rent. cheap ass beer with Dazed and Confused. and then there are the few that we would get hammered to growing up, so now it’s just tradition. The Rock, Waterworld, and Con Air go down great with 8 or 10 glasses of bourbon. and if we’re gonna watch Jason X, like we do, we just cannonball whatever’s in the cabinet and hope we’ve passed out and urinated on ourselves by the time the dialogue kicks in.

  • PJK

    I don’t like the taste of alcohol so I never drink and thus have seen all the movies I have seen, good and bad alike, totally sober!

  • David C-D

    I’m reminded of watching Alien in college with a bottle of tequila, trying to drink enough that I wouldn’t be so freaked out. I don’t recall it helping much, but I did have trouble walking home afterward…

  • Same here. I’m just a fiend for Monster energy drinks.

  • Actually, The Asylum allowed some talent to accidentally slip into “Sharknado”. The timing of the gags and different scenes is almost perfect. I didn’t drink while watching it, so I could tell. Somebody put a lot of work into the editing for it to be spot-on. It’s an intentionally badly made movie for sure, but the art under it is hidden very well indeed.

  • I don’t drink so I’ve never seen any movie while drinking wine or beer. I imagine that American comedies would be better with drink since inhibitions are lowered and discernment goes out the window. Why anyone would want to watch a comedy in the first place baffles me though. Maybe some people just have really sad lives.

  • RogerBW

    A few years ago I read an article I haven’t been able to find since. The thesis was that there’s a correct level of intoxication for the maximum enjoyment of any given film. “While attempting to determine this level for Highlander 2, I lost consciousness.”

    I often have a pint or two while watching a bad film, but that’s because I usually have friends round, and that changes my feelings about the film in itself.

    If I’ve paid for the individual viewing: sober. (I’d have major doubts about a critic who reviewed after a drunken viewing.)

    (Though I gather 2001 was a bit of a flop on its initial release, until the publicity people changed the advertising to “the ultimate trip”. Man…)

  • Jonathan Roth

    Heh, usually overpriced soft-drinks from the concession stand. Being drunk and watching cartoons feels… inappropriate.

    I do like having a bottle of white wine, especially NZ Sauvignon Blanc to myself when watching older comedy films.

  • Matt Clayton

    I think you need a really strong drink or drugs to get maximum enjoyment of Nobuhiko Obayashi’s crazy House. It’s fun sober, but I can’t imagine how more fun it’d be with wine or tequila.

    Oh, and alcohol + bad horror films = fun times!

  • Tim Norton

    Best Mix: A blender of margaritas and “Once upon a time in Mexico” for a date night.

  • Drinking and watching a movie? How can you possibly enjoy a movie if you’re brain is not 100%?

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