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The Beach Bum


Matthew McConaughey and Snoop Dogg star in a scene from the movie "The Beach Bum." The Catholic News Service classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.(CNS photo/Neon)

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NEW YORK (CNS) -- Relentlessly immoral, "The Beach Bum" (Neon), which is billed as a comedy, also is downright annoying. Smugly wrongheaded and meandering, writer-director Harmony Korine's script ultimately sends the message that the secret to success is to wander through life drunk, stoned and on the prowl for sex.

Such is the habitual condition of the film's protagonist, Moondog (Matthew McConaughey). A boorish hedonist who also is, supposedly, a gifted writer, Moondog pursues a Bohemian lifestyle in the Florida Keys where he's something of a local celebrity.

His rich wife, Minnie (Isla Fisher), supports his antics even as she carries on an affair with one of his closest friends, a high-profile, yacht-owning rapper known as Lingerie (Snoop Dogg). Exasperated by Moondog's failure to produce any new work, Lewis (Jonah Hill), his literary agent, is less tolerant of his foibles. So, too, is Moondog's somewhat straitlaced daughter, Heather (Stefania LaVie Owen).

Moondog eventually gains a new pal and admirer in the person of Flicker (Zac Efron). The two meet in a rehab facility to which Moondog has been consigned by court order after committing some large-scale vandalism.

Together they break out of the place and, in need of ready cash, assault and rob a frail senior citizen, leaving him unconscious in the street. That this is treated as a lark is symptomatic of the movie's overall irresponsibility and ethics-free outlook.

The film contains benignly viewed criminality, drug use, adultery and casual sex, graphic scenes of aberrant sexual activity, frequent nudity, brief nonlethal violence, some extremely gory images, a few uses of profanity, a milder oath and pervasive rough and crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.

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CAPSULE REVIEW

"The Beach Bum" (Neon)

Relentlessly immoral and annoying comedy follows the exploits of a boorish hedonist (Matthew McConaughey) who is also, supposedly, a gifted writer as he pursues a Bohemian lifestyle in the Florida Keys. His rich wife (Isla Fisher) supports his antics even as she carries on an affair with one of his closest friends (Snoop Dogg), a high-profile rapper. His literary agent (Jonah Hill), exasperated by his failure to produce any new work, is less tolerant of his foibles as, too, is his somewhat straitlaced daughter (Stefania LaVie Owen). Drunk, stoned and on the prowl for sex, the protagonist is also not above engaging in violent robbery when his fortunes take a turn for the worse, his victim being a frail senior citizen. That this is treated as a lark in writer-director Harmony Korine's meandering script is symptomatic of the overall irresponsibility and ethics-free outlook of his film. Benignly viewed criminality, drug use, adultery and casual sex, graphic scenes of aberrant sexual activity, frequent nudity, brief nonlethal violence, some extremely gory images, a few uses of profanity, a milder oath, pervasive rough and crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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CLASSIFICATION

"The Beach Bum" (Neon) -- Catholic News Service classification, O -- morally offensive. Motion Picture Association of America rating, R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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