Who doesn't love a good mockumentary? I certainly do, and I can usually enjoy a bad one, if the subject-matter is worth its salt. In the case of "The Beverages" it's almost certainly worthy of a bit of coverage, and, through presentation and execution, it definitely manages to make its point.
Review by Ginose
Added: April 06, 2010
It's a whimsical, fairly funny tale of a rather auteur director hoping to make a documentary that gives the guidelines on how to determine the difference between and artist and a hobbyist; he's seemingly fed-up with anyone who produces noting but mediocre-slosh they call "art" and, in turn, label themselves an artist. So, devising a plan, he decides to find the worst, most boiler-plate, unmotivated and untalented musical group the internet has to offer and film them for three-months, hoping to show their talentless "art", lack of dedication and, eventually, the groups' dissolve by their own hand.
Without a bit of worry, he eventually finds a Boston-based group that essentially EMBODIES everything he hates about the world of modern music, and the state of art as a whole. With the little bit of funding he has, he takes off to Boston to pursue his work without the help of neither his producer nor cameraman. After finding his lodging, he makes his way to the home of the two "artists" and begins the long, desperate and hilariously morbid path of watching a group of "artists" flounder in fail in their own mediocrity.
Now, last things first: this is a good movie. It's funny, well-written and actually flows quite splendidly from beginning to end. The characters are all as predictably realistic as one could expect, the plot, though never directly changing about, still feels very unique from beginning to end despite how predictable certain turns are and the story is very driving in many respects; I couldn't help but feel myself a bit more attached to this fictional filmmakers fictional film than I should have been, but it was all very charming.
That's about the one word I could sum "The Beverages" up with: charming. It's not particularly thought-provoking, genius or creative but it certainly has the endearing qualities most films like it lack, making it the first mockumentary in a long time that kept me interested from start to finish. Not to imply that the movie doesn't drag on HORRIBLY at points; possibly the only truly damning thing about it is that: it gets off to a great start, tends to mellow out A LOT somewhere in the middle, wraps around to something at the end before sizzling out entirely.
Another thing that feels like a bit of a tumor on your lobe is the terrible character execution. Sure, the performances sell them and their as predictable as appropriate for this type of movie, the thing that ended up annoying me is how predictability soon became annoyance. Everything was readable from a distance and did nothing but piss me off with the lacking of any REAL change or development in personality (the characters change, yes, but in no significant way and certainly no way that you won't see coming), making them as flat and fictional as I, or anyone, can stand and then some. Since we're stuck looking through the eyes of the characters exclusively, this all starts to hang heavy and weigh down most of the better jokes the movie has to offer.
So, much like sex with a quadruple-amputee, it looks great, starts amazingly but eventually you realize it's nothing more than novelty. A hilarious novelty, but it just doesn't stand on its own. I had fun with it, anyway.
Fun as it is, funny as the whole idea and, for the most part, the execution is, the lack of defining characters and failure to feel completely "realized" throughout really keeps it from being a classic.