Further proof that I have the sense of humour of a teenage boy
Today, whilst watching Sausage Party, I became fully aware of what I will now coin the Laugh Umbrella. The Laugh Umbrella (copyright C.S) refers to the huge range of different types of laughs that human beings are capable of emitting – from giggle to chortle, to guffaw to snicker, cackle to smirk and from howl to gasp. All of the aforementioned laughs occurred in the screen I was in, many of them released by me. For Sausage Party is madcap, hilarious and far smarter than an animated tale about talking food may initially appear. You’ll never look at food outside of the package in quite the same way ever again…
Frank (Rogen) is a sausage who shares a packet with Carl (Hill) and Barry (Cera). He is desperate to be chosen by the Gods, the human shoppers, and taken to “the great beyond”, outside the store they reside in, so he can be with his bun girlfriend Brenda Bunson (Wiig). They are saving themselves by staying in their packets as they believe that is what the Gods want -although they have tried “just the tip”. On the day before “Red, White and Blue Day” a jar of honey mustard is taken by a God but then returned to the store. He returns back completely changed. That’s because he knows the truth, that the Gods don’t save and care for the food – they are monsters who eat the food! Once Frank finds out the truth he’s determined to do all that he can to save his friends and defeat the so-called Gods.
I went into this film with low expectations. I expected to see what would simply be an animated Frat Pack movie – loads of stoner comedy and dick jokes with a barely sketched out storyline. Although the trailer made me laugh repeatedly I worried that it had revealed all the funny bits. I was wrong on both counts. Sausage Party is surprisingly funny and oh-so-filthy. The analogy for ‘ keeping our wieners in our packages” for that’s the “way our buns keep fresh in here” ends up being a wickedly funny critique of purity movements. The undertones and origin of what is essentially their national anthem ends up questioning the role of the media. Then there’s the thinly veiled atheism. Plus a bagel named Sammy (Norton) and a lavash named Kareem (Krumholtz) serve as stand-ins for a reflection on Israel-Palestine. With some stoner comedy and dick jokes regularly inserted in.
Now let’s return to the concept I introduced at the beginning of this review – the Laugh Umbrella. I uttered all of the previously mentioned laughs at the many layers of humour within the film. I also regularly voiced what is known as a gasp-laugh. There were several jokes here I felt guilty at laughing at – almost horrified at my sense of humour. In fact there were jokes I tried to refuse laughing at – repulsed as I was by my funny bone betraying me, I stubbornly and futilely tried not to laugh. And failed. All I will say is that the term “Food Porn” has new depths…
It’s meaty enough, deeply weird and very ballsy – obscenely and hilariously written it brings a whole new meaning to “Screwball” comedy.
Country: USA Year: 2016 Run time: 88 minutes
Sausage Party is in UK cinemas now.