You probably know these videos that come up on YouTube of a guy walking into a pole, falling on his backside, or getting punched in the face. Drunk Parents takes that to new levels with more elaborate suffering and a thin story.
Drunk Parents follows Nancy (Salma Hayek) and Frank (Alec Baldwin), who have just dropped off their daughter at the college dorms. What their daughter doesn’t know is that Nancy and Frank are almost bankrupt, and only staying together as a couple to avoid disappointing her. Nancy and Frank try various ways to hide their financial difficulties and make any kind of money, but every time they try things just get worse.
The concept of the plot is interesting; even if it has “been there done that” elements, parents hiding their financial difficulties, especially from their kids, seems very plausible and realistic. Moreover, this premise paves the way for endless opportunities for comedy and madness.
Nancy and Frank suffer throughout the film, but the results are situations which are more shocking than funny; you will find your hand going over your mouth more than you will hear laughter. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but with audiences expecting endless laughter from a comedy with big stars, they might be disappointed.
Even when the audience did laugh, they barely cared about the characters and their fate because there was very little to no characterisation. The filmmakers obviously relied too much on the charisma and fandom of Salma Hayek and Alec Baldwin. That being said, Hayek and Baldwin did a good job with their performances, but it all seemed pointless because of the filmmakers’ decisions to not develop their characters.
There is another major issue with the film: the flow and edit of the film’s dialogue. Real life people can be random, and movie characters can be as well. Accordingly, when audiences feel a direct cut and switch in a film’s dialogue on several occasions, it’s an issue which leads to viewers being constantly taken out of the film’s realm and reminded that writers wrote the dialogue this way in order to advance the plot.
As for the acting, Salma Hayek was amazing as usual; however, this would not be considered one of her best and most genuine performances, mainly due to the setup of her character and the feature as a whole. Alec Baldwin was much more natural and relaxed in his role, which made him excel, especially when it came to sarcastic or cruel jokes.
Drunk Parents could be a somewhat enjoyable one-time watch with friends, but it will not be the comedy classic you keep watching over and over again.