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It turns out that Spring Break never ended after all, at least not for Moondog. Key West’s answer to The Dude, the sun-baked poet played with THC-infused gusto by Matthew McConaughey is the life of every party and the biggest personality in any room he walks into. He’s so entertaining, in fact, that it takes nearly the entirety of “The Beach Bum” to fully absorb how little else there is to the film once the initial high of basking in Moondog’s perma-stoned glory wears off.
Comparisons to Korine’s last protagonist are unavoidable, so I won’t: Moondog is like a mellower version of James Franco’s Alien aged 15 hard-living years, not interested in guns or bling but equally stoked about weed and booze. “I’m a bottom-feeder, baby,” he tells his inexplicably understanding wife (Isla Fisher) after returning from his latest bender. “I gotta go low to get high.” His antics could provide meme fodder for years to come: Moondog carries around an adorable white cat he found by the water one day, rides around on a burnout barge dubbed Well Hung, and recites vaguely pornographic poetry onstage — all in one altered state or another.
Life - Aftermath - Car - Accident - Poetry
All of which is to say that he’s most assuredly living his best life, at least until the aftermath of a car accident requires him to publish his next poetry collection lest he be cut off from his wife’s riches. Moondog goes to rehab, escapes, and starts wearing dresses in a half-hearted attempt to elude the authorities; though ostensibly serious — someone close to Moondog dies early on, and he has no real relationship with his just-married daughter — none of this seems to faze our intrepid poet. Like another McConaughey character, he just keeps L-I-V-I-N.
Though more conventional than the likes of “Trash Humpers” or “Gummo,” “The Beach...
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