I snapped my head in my husband’s direction at the other end of our cozy sectional the first time I saw the trailer for Cocaine Bear. We locked eyes and our faces performed an entire ballet of disdain and disgust. This is our way. You might have guessed that from the title of this here newsletter. We never saw the trailer again or even spoke of it until last weekend when several friends (seriously, there were more than three) posted pics flaunting their wild eyed trips to see Cocaine Bear in actual real live theaters.
My first thought was — ARE STRAIGHT PEOPLE OKAY?
Most of y’all are very cute, but your track record is a little bumpy. There’s pickle ball, Blake Shelton, and all that re-watching of The Office to name a few. Plus I’m still pretty angry about LIVE LAUGH LOVE art which I’m almost certain happened on your watch. When you add all of this together it doesn’t exactly set y’all up to be reliable narrators, but you filled my timeline with your googly eyes and it made me curious.
There were so many happy faced selfies — you’ve never seen such glee — and I am still not entirely sure there wasn’t actual cocaine involved. What else could it be? Nobody smiles with that level of enthusiasm this side of 2020. I felt challenged, and hooooo boy do I love a challenge. I made an appointment to take myself on a little date to the movies at my earliest convenience. I could not wait to blow a small fortune at my local AMC to see what all the fuss was about — and judge you for your awful life choices.
I knew I was in for an extra special experience the minute I presented my phone to the dude working the ticket counter. He scanned my QR Code and said, “Let me guess…”
I was caught off guard by the wild look in his eyes, and paused because I wasn’t sure what to say. The ticket dudes at my local AMC are not usually beaming and they certainly are not bursting with all this Nicole Kidman charisma. Sure, heartbreak feels good in a place like this, but customer service with a smile AND a conversation — who knew that was a possibility!?
“I bet you’re seeing Cocaine Bear.”
“It’s very good. You know it’s based on a true event. It really only lasted about five minutes because the bear died pretty quick, so everything you’re about to see is fictionalized but I don’t want to ruin the movie for you.”
Uhhh — OK, WOW.
His enthusiasm was charming, but this was already more information than I had committed to knowing. Was this dude on cocaine?? I thanked him and skipped on over to the concession stand to get a giant soda, gianter popcorn, and impossible nuggets. I know. I KNOW — I was indeed asking for it on a variety of levels but who knew there were vegetarian options at AMC!? I had to order them and the concessions dude was so excited for me he even tossed in a few extra nuggs out of the goodness of his heart. Is this what it feels like to be a Disney Princess? My midday movie adventure was already off the charts, I could have turned around and headed back home without seeing any cocaine or bears and been pretty satisfied. Well, except that a cheap middle of the day matinee movie ticket ain’t what she used to be so I danced off in search of my seat.
Listen, this movie.
I don’t want to tell you too much about this movie. Margo Martindale is part of the cast, and she is hilarious and wonderful and one of my all time faves. There’s also a bear and some cocaine, and a bad ass 80s mom, and some kids, and chases, and horror, suspense, and some fun music. It reminded me of movies we had back in the 80s and 90s that were just fun movies that wanted no more from you than for you to just sit back, try to relax and enjoy the ride. If you don’t know anything about Cocaine Bear, I don’t suggest you go reading a review. The ones I read reallyyyyyy took themselves way too seriously. I don’t think anyone thinking about seeing something with both cocaine and bear in the title is looking for or expecting Masterpiece Theatre. I think we all kinda get it, right? Everything is indeed … right there in the title. It’s so funny, and terrifying, and filled with blood and horror, and soooo many laughs.
I am shocked and also really happy to tell you that I loved it? It was truly the most fun I have had watching a movie in ages. There weren’t many people in the theater, and that’s probably a good thing because I sure did laugh out loud like a dummy and scream and shout and have more fun than a middle aged person probably should have while consuming trans-fats on a long lunch in the middle of a workday.
Stop whatever it is you’re doing and go right now. It’s only an hour and a half and don’t you deserve it? I wish I could convince everyone to go. It made me long for the days where movies didn’t have to make forty gazillion dollars, they could just be fun and silly, and nobody had to show up in a superhero costume and fight other superheros or show their boobs. Maybe those kinds of movies will come back now? At the very least someone should put director Elizabeth Banks in charge of more things. What we all need right now (and always) is the magic of a bear, a bunch of cocaine, and a whole lot of silliness in the woods.
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