What would you get if you were to combine films such as Superbad, Project X, and The Purge into one cluster of a movie? Well, if that question sparks your curiosity (even in the slightest), look no further because Hulu’s Original: The Binge has you covered. What most might consider being your typical “coming of age” tale, in which three friends (because four is too much apparently) go on a night-long adventure in search of some sort of existential meaning before college, I concur. Although living in a state of the world where social gatherings and large events are on hiatus at the moment, this movie might just make you crave those days even more than you already were.
The Binge is set in an alternate reality of American culture, in which the strict rules of prohibition return along with constraints on any type of recreational narcotics. Leaving society deprived of any mind-altering alternatives, the government issues one day a year to indulge in these illegal festivities, which according to the fabricated film statistics would lead to less crime and deaths. Anyone above the legal age limit of 18 is eligible to participate in this national event in which they call “The Binge.”
The film follows a high school teen named Griffin (played by Skylar Gisondo) and his best friend Hags (played by Dexter Darden) on the morning of their first legal binge. The duo finds themselves in an awkward situation when Griffin’s crush Lena is invited to a huge party where she might be proposed to by a secret admirer. A shy Griffin is then coerced by Hags to find a way of getting into the party in time, leaving them at the doorstep of a party ticket holder named Andrew (played by Eduardo Franco).
Andrew is by far the most random character of the group and happens to lead them into a number of quite hilarious situations that seem to bring them further from the party. Lena (played by Grace Van Dien) is the daughter of the strict school Principle Carlsen (played by Vince Vaughn) who upon realizing she has snuck out, goes on an adventure of his own to find her. All of the characters find themselves in some wild situations that happen to later intersect, leaving room for comedic moments and over-the-top dialogue. The assortment of alcohol and drugs used by the main characters puts them on a trip between finding their personal victories and growing the relationships they so longed for.
Directed by Jeremy Garelick and written by Jordan VanDina, The Binge makes for a good passing time movie. If you are one that particularly enjoys these kinds of comedies, then by all means you might enjoy this film. People that haven’t gone out in months due to the global pandemic might find a nostalgic solace in this film; it makes you remember just how much you took those wild festival nights for granted. Also, I’d like to add that the movie does not glorify the abuse of drinking and hallucinogens, but merely decriminalizes them and satires their effects. The film combines elements of American Pie along with what society would look like if we had a party purge. It’s basically the 4th of July, but your whole year has been leading to this one release of serotonin. This concept would obviously be a terrible idea for the country, but it makes for an interesting look at how crazy the nation would get if such a thing existed.
Overall, I wouldn’t say that The Binge is the best thing I’ve watched this year, but it did make for a nice feel-good movie. One could totally overanalyze any of the stupidity of this film, but that would completely contradict the point of it. I’ve always been a fan of over-the-top comedy such as The Naked Gun or Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail, but alas that type of humor doesn’t work for everyone. Needless to say, if you are looking for something funny with an absolutely ridiculous concept, log onto Hulu and watch The Binge streaming now.