Halfway through Harmony Korrine’s ‘The Beach Bum,’ Moondog (played by Matthew McConaughey) and his wife Minnie (Isla Fisher) starts dancing to Peggy Lee’s song ‘Is That All There Is,’ and it perfectly describes how I am feeling about the film at that point. Is this it? Is the film going to mean more or is this as good as this film gets?
The answer of course, isn’t as simple. While the plot gets a minor bump after that song, the film coasts on the same stoner vibe. There simply isn’t going to be more plot-wise here, but as a film, it delivers a lot more. My advise? Just give in and let the film take control of how you view it. Just take a toke and enjoy it, man. That seems to be the vibe of Moondog, and we are just living in his world at this point. Those searching for a greater meaning here will probably not be rewarded, or depending on your high level, everything will all make sense in the world. I have to say I just tried to enjoy the film, and for the most part, I did – the vignettes featuring Zac Efron and, especially, Martin Lawrence, were laugh out loud funny. And McConaughey has never been more natural and effortless, and in my imagination, this is him in real life. Who cares if even the flimsy plot is riddled with holes, all that matters here is that everyone who watches this is on the same trip. And it’s a wild wild trip.