Movie Monday: Sausage Party

 

It was only a matter of time before we got a movie like this one.

If Pixar could make children’s movies with anthropomorphic toys like Woody and Buzz, eventually someone would make a Pixar-like movie for grownups with sentient supermarket products that are foul-mouthed and sex-obsessed.

And here it is.

These aren’t your normal sausages and buns and cabbage and hummus. They sit on the shelves waiting for the gods — known to us as grocery shoppers — to take them out of the store and into the idyllic Place Beyond.

The hapless foods have been sold a bill of goods, of course, and after much denial they come to realize their fate is to be cut to pieces, cooked and eaten. (One of the many reasons not to take your child to this very R-rated movie is to avoid a rebellious hunger strike starting the moment you get home.)

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg wrote the script, and they are being given credit for introducing the theme of the foods’ existential crisis to animate a grossout movie that would be deeply offensive if it relied on human characters to speak and act the way the grocery products do.

From reviews:

“Seth Rogen may be the most subversively sincere religious allegorist working in movies today.”  Joe Leyden, Variety

 “‘Sausage Party’ is just as much a sweet story about belief and faith as it is a vehicle for the filthiest jokes you’ve never dared imagine.”  Lindsey Bahr, ReadingEagle.com

“Frank (the head sausage, voiced by Rogen) is a Promethean figure, and what happens
once the gods are overthrown is scary and interesting as well as fun. . . .”  A.O. Scott, New York Times

So there we have it. Who needs Plato or St. Augustine when the fate of F-bombing vegetables and jars of honey mustard can stand in to represent the all-too-human quandary about the certainty of mortality?

Yes, there are very funny bits, most of them extremely crude. The bad guy from the personal products aisle is a douche, literally and figuratively. There is a lesbian hard taco who comes onto a sweet, soft hot dog bun. There is a Muslim lavosh dreaming of a heavenly reward of 77 bottles of olive oil and getting it on with a bagel who sounds quite a bit like Woody Allen. It would take an army of 16-year-old boys many years to dream up this many vulgarities, but “Sausage Party” doesn’t miss a single opportunity and still clocks in at less than 90 minutes, which is actually rather impressive.

You certainly have heard of the penultimate scene, an extended sex orgy of vegetables, breads and condiments with an extended penetration-plus-penis joke at the expense of a grocery employee. All very fun.

The movie ends with a made-up solution for the food products’ situation that is every bit as implausible as the plight itself. But this is okay. By then, you’re happy to get out of the theater.

Note:

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are talented and funny, but their last script, in which American journalists are recruited to “take out” the nasty little dictator of North Korea, almost certainly motivated the the Norks’ massive and embarrassing hack of Sony executives’ emails before the film’s release two years ago. Still, this is a Columbia/Sony production. Apparently foodstuffs don’t fight back.

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