FILM REVIEW –
March 25, 2021 – As opening credits roll, we hear the sound of a drink being mixed and the first thing we see are cherubic teens participating in a beer bottle rally race. It generates a lot of camaraderie and vomit. A quartet of old friends who teach at the school view these ecstatic youths as a repudiation of their staid lives and decide to jump straight into their mid-life crises. The pack leader is melancholy history professor Martin (Mads Mikkelsen), whose wife Anika (Maria Bonnevie) and two sons are unimpressed with his permanent air of hungover ennui. He meets up with his mates Nikolaj (Magnus Millang), Tommy (Thomas Bo Larsen), and Peter (Lars Ranthe) and they discuss a theory from philosopher Finn Skårderud, who feels that a constant blood alcohol level of .05 makes a person “poised, musical and open” at the exact moment between drunk and sober. Why not bring the sun-kissed boozing of your summer vacation to your day job?
Martin and co. goad each other on, saying stuff like, “Russia was built by men who drink and drive.” Hemingway is invoked repeatedly. They pledge to keep their blood-alcohol level at .05 and promise no drinking after 8 p.m. (ha!) but soon they’re secreting Smirnoff in their coffee cups, stashing bottles in utility closets, and buying breathalyzers to keep themselves on point. As a man of science, Nikolaj scientifically documents the gambit.