By Anna Petkovich ‘14Features Editor
Where to begin with “Fubar: Balls to the Wall”? A true cinematic gem. Fun for the whole family. Uproariously funny, and not at all sleazy. Graced with extremely attractive male leads.
Okay, so all of the above statements are false. Are you wondering what sort of film, what potential plot line, could provoke such inaccurate hyperbole? The film opens with a raging house party at the home of Dean and Terry (a house which they are getting evicted from). They’re celebrating Dean’s five-year anniversary of being cancer free (testicular cancer, to be specific, hence the film’s lovely title). Beer is flowing late into the night, eventually provoking a drunken demolition of Terry and Dean’s soon-to-be-ex-house. Chainsaws are drawn through walls, sledgehammers bring down cabinets and Dean, who is tripping exceptionally hard on some LSD, sets the house on fire. This summary of the film’s opening scene should also include the fact that Terry and Dean are probably in their late 30s or so, have chest-length hair, goatees and the mouths of sailors. Needless to say, I was skeptical.
Broke and homeless after their epic rager, Terry and Dean set off to find work in the great Canadian north. There they find lucrative oil pipeline jobs, comfort in the local strip club and, for Terry, love. He begins a romance with Trish, a waitress from the strip club. However, the relationship is incompatible with Dean and Terry’s hard-partying lifestyle. Their lifestyle soon proves to be a deal-breaker for the duo, especially when Terry discovers Dean has slept with Trish while he was passed out in a hot tub.
The remainder of the films documents Dean and Terry’s respective troubles with finances, an unexpected recurrence of cancer and Dean’s attempts to forge a relationship with his daughter.
I would hate to give away the ending to a film that keeps you on the edge of your seat, so it’s lucky “Fubar: Balls to the Wall” isn’t one of such films. Friendship triumphs during the Christmas holidays, when Dean’s daughter comes to visit, Trish and Terry get married and they all go sledding! Whoops, spoiler alert.
Now for the actual reviewing. The film is presented in “mockumentary” style, which I rather enjoyed. It gave it a Christopher Guest/ “Best in Show” feel. I liked the brief interviews with Dean’s baby mama (“Trixie”) and other characters. However, I felt “Fubar: Balls to the Wall” didn’t take full advantage of this device. The interviews weren’t consistent enough.
This is just one small complaint, though, about a film I overall found quite…comical. It’s definitely worth watching once (I might give it another shot actually!), but I would have to suggest you take a cue from Dean and Terry and grab a brewsky before hand. It might add a nice touch. And hey, you’d be able to relate a little more considering you’re most likely not a 30-something job-less Canadian man with a questionable number of testicles.
This movie left me with what is actually a rather sweet lesson: it doesn’t matter how much beer you like to drink, how long your hair is, how many testicles you possess or if your favorite pastimes are going to strip clubs and just generally fucking shit up, you can still have a good heart. We have a preconceived notion that nice, warm-hearted people only look or act a certain way. Just because someone has tattoos or likes rock ‘n’ roll and smoking weed doesn’t mean he doesn’t love his family and friends as much as the next person. When “Fubar: Balls to the Wall” began, I made a lot of judgments. In ways, I was right – the film had its trashier moments. But also, I was wrong. It turned out to be kind of heart-warming, a tale of friendship triumphing over illness, infidelity and being broke. You can’t judge a book by its cover, a person by his tattoos, and definitely not Fubar: Balls to the Wall by its title.