Jason Arment

The Beach Bum: Nearly Unreviewable

(detail from The Beach Bum promotional poster)

Jason Arment pans the movie The Beach Bum, advising that your time (and your money) is better spent elsewhere.


The Beach Bum is one of the worst films I’ve seen in recent times. With no real plot or characters who can’t be discarded like empty beer cans, nothing in the film matters.

When the main character’s wife dies right in front of him, the man remains totally unfazed. Throughout the film there isn’t anything close to cause and effect. A perfect illustration of this is how the main character escapes a court ordered rehab facility and disguises himself the rest of the film by wearing ill-fitting dresses. This total lack of repercussion, despite a judge having ordered the completion of the rehab program, invalidates about twenty minutes of the movie.

What’s puzzling is the main character’s homophobia, especially considering the actor who played him presumably wrote the character, as is revealed at the end. Apparently, the free love mentality displayed throughout the film only applies to the main character’s genitals. Which makes sense considering how the protagonist is the sort of poet every writer loathes. Devoid of talent and buoyed up by his wife’s fortune, the poet writes terrible verse with reckless abandon. No thought is given to how the audience will identify with the nonsensical man detached from any semblance of reality.


If you’re looking for a film to ruin a date, or make everyone with you question if you’re worthy of trust, then choose The Beach Bum.


Usually films like The Beach Bum are funny. But not only is The Beach Bum far from funny, there are several instances where the film is outright racist. This is disappointing for all the obvious reasons, but especially so considering the film’s cast is comprised of seasoned performers. Maybe The Beach Bum is the kind of drivel Hollywood longs to make, though. If that’s the case, I won’t be seeing another film written by its actors, no matter how many big names are involved. I’m not kidding when I say that everyone I know could write a better movie, and there is so little redeeming value in the film that I don’t want to use the actors’ names in this review to avoid bringing further shame to their families.

If you’re looking for a movie to make you laugh, cry, and feel emotions besides boredom and disgust, The Beach Bum isn’t what you’re looking for. However, if you’re looking for a film to ruin a date, or make everyone with you question if you’re worthy of trust, then choose The Beach Bum.

I don’t suggest anyone see this movie, ever. There are too many films deserving of an audience, and other ways to waste money.



Jason Arment is the author of Musalaheen, a war memoir published by University of Hell Press.


Jason Arment

Jason Arment served in Operation Iraqi Freedom as a Machine Gunner in the USMC. He's earned an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. His work has appeared in Narrative Magazine, Lunch Ticket, Chautauqua, Hippocampus, The Burrow Press Review, Dirty Chai, and War, Literature & the Arts: An International Journal of the Humanities; anthologized in Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors Volume 2 & 4; and is forthcoming in Gulf Coast, The Florida Review, and Phoebe. Jason lives in Denver.

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