I guess I was at that age when I was old enough to like baseball, but too young for my parents to explain to me what happened at the Ten Cent Beer game, a legendary debacle of fan sportsmanship resulting in a bunch of drunk, unruly fans ruining a lovely day at the ballpark for those who just wanted to see a ballgame.
Who knew you could build a Christmas movie around the progression of events at the Ten Cent Beer Game, but the folks of “Uncle Nick” did a pretty good job.
“Uncle Nick” tells the story of a family Christmas party, led by the drunk, loser brother, Nick, played by Brian Posehn, who also narrates the comparisons of the baseball game to the party. The basics are your standard, dysfunctional family Christmas party where things start out with great anticipation, in this case Nick wondering if he will be able to score with the step-niece, Valerie (Melia Renee), but not knowing the family secret. As the liquor flows, with the youngins taking part as well, things get ugly real fast, especially as Nick puts many things together, including why it was a good thing he didn’t get it on with the step-niece.
Some of the movie is kind of Cleveland bashing, or embracing the idiosyncrasy that is Cleveland depending on your point of view, with comments like “When you have Ohiogenetics your body morphs into the shape of a tugboat by the time you’re thirty,” and “Cleveland had plenty of lows since the Ten Cent Beer Night… We’ve come to accept it,” but for the movie, it worked. I think I’m allowed to say that because of my Cleveland roots, though I can understand if residents of what was once known as the Mistake by the Lake, now known as Believeland at least by the locals, are offended.
The movie has a lot of “ewe” moments, but there are also some pretty funny scenes, like, for me, the gathering around the Punch Bowl. We also learn that “White Elephant” giving is a horrible game at a Christmas party.
Does the movie break any new ground for a dysfunctional family Christmas? Not really, but there is enough funny to get through the generic parts as well as get past some of the icky moments. For me it’s a standard 3 star out of 5 comedy, but you have to like some gross-out jokes so be ready for them.
There are some extras on the Blu-ray with the outtakes, especially the “making fun of the house” ad-libs, being funny, the “Family Portrait” was nice but kind of a “Why?” addition, and I skipped “Barf-a-rama” mostly because I’m a sympathetic vomiter and didn’t really feel like losing my lunch, even if it wasn’t really about barfing.
That’s it for this one! L8R!!