Drunk Parents Film Review - Avoid Rating
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“No one has really thought about where the humour is coming from”

-Garry

Introduction To Drunk Parents

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I rented ‘Drunk Parents’ from Cinema Paradiso. Here is how I got on…

Drunk Parents is listed as a comedy comedy directed by Fred Wolf, best known for being the Head Writer on Saturday Night Live.  Wolf has co-written written Drunk Parents with screen writer Peter Gaulke, who is known for Ice Age 2: The Meltdown.

Wolf cast stars including Alec Baldwin (The Boss Baby film franchise), Salma Hayek (The Hitman’s Bodyguard), with a supporting cast featuring Joe Manganiello (Magic Mike XXL),  Natalia Cigliuti (90210), Jim Gaffigan (Hotel Transylvania 3) and Ben Platt Pitch Perfect 2).

Official synopsis

Two drunk parents attempt to hide their ever increasing financial difficulties from their daughter and social circle through elaborate neighbourhood schemes.

It starts with Frank (Alec Baldwin) and Nancy Teagarten (Salma Hayek) dropping their only daughter off at an expensive looking college. They return home to their huge British style mansion, and all is not as it seems… They are actually broke and facing the prospect of bankruptcy. Desperate to fund their daughter’s education, they start to empty their house contents out onto the lawn and try to sell it to passing neighbours. During the evening they sit amongst their yard sale and get very drunk. One thing leads to another, and they end up listing their absent neighbours house (which Frank should be looking after while he is away working in the UK) on Craigs List for rent! This snowballs into crisis after crisis and the plot includes a convicted sex offender, theft of furniture, fire and a random Will Ferrell.

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The Script/Screenplay

1 out of 10

1 out of 10

Director and credited co-writer Fred Wolf has history with Saturday Night Live (SNL) and a comedian.  So, it is no surprise he is looking to follow previous esteemed SNL alumni such as Dan Aykroyd, Mike Myers, and Jon Belushi, and break out into the movies.

So, roping in veteran screen writer Peter Gaulke the pair set about creating Drunk Parents. I was optimistic going into this film it has a decent cast and writers with some pedigree. After watching the first few minutes that optimism faded.

What I was watching was a so-called comedy with a script that seems so devoid of actual humour it made me feel very disappointed.

The premise of Drunk Parents is that Frank and Nancy consistently encounter one scrape and mishap after each other, we have mistaken intent, mistaken identity, unintentional theft etc etc, and therein lies the problem with the script. Wolf’s Saturday Night Live heritage is evident thought the screenplay each scrape the couple get into plays out like a SNL skit. Its like watching a series of moments rather than a cohesive story. Everyone on set seem  convinced the writing was funny and then desperately tries to convince the audience that it is.

The trouble with this style of writing is that when it is not executed brilliantly the bits in between each ‘comedy set piece’ just drag on.

Look out for Alec Baldwin’s running gag through the film, Baldwin, several times he changes his voice when answering his phone depending on the situation.  This is to avoid being caught – hilarious – yes that is sarcasm.

The script also takes us as fools, when character gets locked into a homemade panic room; it is never explained how he gets out, we must just accept it. It also makes an odd choice to glorify kids with guns, in what I can only imagine was funny on paper the Police turn up to an empty house and ask if the house has been robbed ooo funny yet , they do not appear in another scene when two kids use a Taser in the street in broad daylight.

Note to producers If you have to shoehorn Will Ferrell in half way through a movie you need to A: look at your script and B: revisit your casting choices. Ferrell’s presence in Drunk Parents just exposes the flaws in the film and using the same unfunny gag twice in as many minutes, smacks of desperation

Standout Casting

1 out of 10

1 out of 10

Alec Baldwin as Frank Teagarten,

Alec Baldwin, is best known for roles such as Jack Ryan in Hunt for Red October,  and parts in The Aviator and Departed.  Apart from doing some voice work for films like The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and Madagascar, Alec hasn’t really ventured into the realm of comedy and it shows. Not only does the script deliver him dud lines to work with, but his natural charisma is also not enough to turn a flat script into a comedic work of art. During the ‘comedy’ set pieces he comes across just looking awkward.  In the future, I would much prefer to see Alec Baldwin playing a role such as Danny Ocean (Ocean’s eleven) where he can provide a comedic line or two, but more natural comedy actors can do the heavy lifting as an ensemble. 

Salma Hayek as Nancy Teagarten

Salma Hayek’s early career is full of A-list great films like, From Dusk till Dawn and an absolute favourite of mine, Dogma. In Drunk Parents Hayek gets to play alongside Alec Baldwin as his wife and co-conspirator of the schemes to get them out of the predicaments they find themselves in. The film’s script really lets her down. We have zero-character development, the ‘funny’ bits just restrict Hayek to either a shouty rant about the price of a cucumber or attempting comedy by getting stuck in an oversized cat flap entering her own house. The chemistry between husband and wife is also not believable. The movie has the tone of a buddy comedy rather than a husband and wife relationship, it’s a complete waste of talent.

Jim Gaffigan as Carl Mancini

Jim (James) Gaffigan is an American stand-up comedian.  As a comic he manages to upstage the two leads in every scene he is in. Showing comic timing and a more animated performance.  He is also the only actor that gets a character arc.  The downside being a scene detailing how Carl became a registered sex offender is at total odds with the tone of the rest of the Movie, even if it does add an extra layer to Carl’s character.



Sound/Music/Score

1 out of 10

1 out of 10

The Score:

Drunk Parents does not seem to have a dedicated score available to listen to separately. Music has been composed by Andrew Feltenstein and John Nau.  Listen out for both Alec Baldwin and Salma Hayek singing Tomorrow (from Annie).

The Sound:

Standard stuff where sound is concerned, no brash high spec Hi-res soundtrack, Just standard DVD Dolby Digital Plus affair.  Sounds good enough.

Visual Effects

4 out of 10

4 out of 10

Nothing revolutionary regards the effects.  Nothing stand out, costumes looked ok, and the various locations looked appropriate.  Overall nothing to shout about

Video Quality

4 out of 10

4 out of 10

Standard video quality.  Filmed in 1.85 : 1 Aspect Ratio, and presented on DVD standard definition format. No HD or 4K content here.  It looked sharp enough upscaled through to 1080p.

Drunk Parents Overall Thoughts

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On paper Drunk Parents should be an absolute riot to watch. The plot points and themes are comedy gold, unfortunately Drunk Parents is no Ealing comedy, its not even at ‘The Hangover’ standard of funny, its around the level of the American remake of ‘Death of A funeral’. At best, the jokes don’t land and at worst they are so obvious they are unfunny.

I have said that there is no such thing as a bad film, only bad execution and I that is evident with Drunk Parents. Take any modern comedy and the script is underpinned with the premise of people running into one crazy situation to another. It’s just that with Drunk Parents no one has really thought about where the humour is coming from.

Note to casting directors, Rose Byrne and Mark Wahlberg would have been a better casting fit, and maybe it would have been a different outcome.

Overall an Avoid Rating,

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The Silver Hedgehog: Rating

The Script / Screenplay - 1
Casting - 1
Music / Score - 1
Visual Effects and Costume - 4
Video Quality - 4

2.2

Avoid

Drunk Parents listing as a comedy maybe the only thing funny about this film, that and the rating it’s getting…..

Our Ratings Explained

Credits:

Words Garry

Editor JJ

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This site is a non-profit project..

As a small, independent website run by Garry in his spare time,  we need your help to continue providing great content.

Please donate to help The Silver Hedgehog grow. All funds are put back into the website, and help provide new features.

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Buy Me a Coffee is a service that allows you to make a voluntary one-off donation in the form of a cup of coffee.

1 x coffee = £3.00

Patreon

Paetron

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End Credits

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Age Rating 15

Release Date  8 Feb 2019

Director Fred Wolf

Staring 

Alec Baldwin
Salma Hayek
Jim Gaffigan
Joe Manganiello

Runtime 1 hr 37 min

Box Office $1,656,325

Editor for Silver Hedgehog JJ

Meet Garry

An office worker by day and blogger by night. Garry is the creator and writer of The Silver Hedgehog.  A Sci-Fi geek (don’t mention Terry Pratchett or Isaac Asimov unless you have a spare hour) and avid film fan (noted for watching Titanic 8 times at the cinema 🤩).  Enjoys writing reviews and blogs in his spare time, and is waiting for the day he gets paid for it!

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Tara
Tara
22 days ago

wow nice article!