‘I’ ON CULTURE
The new animated feature Sausage Party is very funny. It is also raw, filled with sexual imagery and innuendo that children should definitely not see or hear. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have made a very hard R-rated animated film that is definitely not for the faint-hearted.
The movie has the sense of humor of a typical male teenager, but if you like that type of humor, you probably will end up laughing harder than you have in quite a long time at the movies.
Think about those Pixar movies about cars, trucks and planes that are filled with puns and inside humor. Then imagine what a group of raunchy teens could possibly do with the idea. The humor is raw and raucous.
The story revolves around the consumable food at a huge supermarket. The food believes that the best thing that can happen is to be chosen by the customers, who they think of as gods, who will bring them to their homes. At that point, they will enter a wonderful afterlife.
This belief is challenged by a jar of honey mustard (voiced by Danny McBride) that has been returned by a customer and tells them the truth, which no one is willing to believe. It quickly becomes clear that this is a riff on religion.
The film focuses on a pack of sausages. One of them, Frank (Seth Rogen) is madly in love with a bun, Brenda (Kristen Wiig). As you might imagine, there are more than a few bawdy jokes involving him wanting to be inside her. They are both picked by a housewife and are thrilled, knowing they will be together forever. Then comes the horrible scene: the preparation of dinner.
As they watch a potato get skinned, they go into shock. Then comes the ultimate horror: a few baby carrots escape and roll off the counter. But the housewife grabs them before they fall and tosses them into her mouth. “They’re eating the children,” Frank gasps. Then there’s an escape scene, and Frank warns all the food back at the store that the mustard was right; they all need to escape.
The non-consumables, led (figurative and literally) by a douche (Nick Kroll) act as a fifth column, assuring the food that what they have now been told is not true. But the food rebels, and suddenly a supermarket aisle turns into a riff on Saving Private Ryan as food gets destroyed. Some clever gags: a broken cookie grabs its broken piece and staggers on, while a bottle of peanut butter cries over a broken jelly jar.
The food jokes are very funny and absolutely not politically correct. Sammy Bagel Jr. (Edward Norton) sounds like a New York Jewish intellectual and is constantly fighting over space on the shelves with a piece of pita bread (David Krumholtz), almost replaying Middle Eastern history with hilarious effect. There are dozens of really funny food jokes. Added to that are the sex jokes, which are plentiful.
As I wrote earlier, this is a very funny movie. But it does work to make some real points about religion. While making the idea of the “next life” somewhat ridiculous, it does bring up the idea that it also makes believers act better. There is also a focus on politics, both real and sexual. But it is not a movie for those easily offended.
There have already been multiple complaints about its politics, racial stereotyping, sexual stereotyping, and that does not even begin to cover those who are simply offended by its constant, flagrant use of the “f-word.”
I am not offended by all of that, but I do object to the lack of warnings in trailers for the film. It looks like it might be a fun movie for kids. The catchy opening number is heard, but only a piece that is not filled with that “f-word” often used in the film. The jokes shown are funny but not dirty. I expect some parents will bring their kids and will be greatly offended.
But if you a late teen or above and want to laugh, and you are not easily offended, you will enjoy this film.