SXSW Film Review: Sausage Party

Photo courtesy SXSW.
Written by Emilio Domenech

There is a scene in the animated film “Sausage Party” in which a Jewish bagel feels the scrotum of an Arabic flatbread in his face. With joy. That pretty much sums up the movie’s whole point, in which writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (This Is The End) have given all they have.

In “Sausage Party,” food is alive. Aliments live in an idyllic supermarket where every day is welcomed with a Broadway song and they all want to be chosen by the Gods: that is, humans. Their hope is to get picked by people and cross the exit doors to The Great Beyond, as if there was some kind of heaven waiting for them. Of course, there is not.

The protagonists are Frank, a sausage, and Brenda, a hot-dog bun. The “hot” is literal—she is sexy. Their dream is for him to get inside her, as is the aspiration of every other wiener and bun with whom they share packages. But when they are chosen by the same human to go to a whole new world, Frank and Brenda fall from the cart they were in when trying to save a suicidal mustard jar who has seen what is beyond.

Doubting his life’s point, Frank embarks on a supermarket adventure to find out what the mustard jar was really saying. And whether is in the Ice World or in the Liquor Aisle, his path will be followed by Brenda, Vash (the Arabic flatbread), Sammy Bagel Jr. (the Jewish bagel), Teresa Taco (a lesbian taco) and the villain: a douche. Yep, both the device you fill with water and an asshole.

The whole enterprise is not that spectacular in terms of animation—although what we have seen in Austin is not even remotely finished—but what is amazingly fun and outrageous is everything else. The little care the film has about stereotypes and sociopolitical ambiguity is hilarious. It is so remarkable that a movie like this has even been produced that its whole existence translates into the most surprising and exhilarating laughter. “Deadpool” was not enough and this one is more than what we expected.

A girl from the SXSW screening audience asked Rogen and Goldberg about the Mexican drug stereotypes the film portrays. And like with that politically correct buzz-kill friend who messes every Cards Against Humanity game he runs into, the whole theater rebelled against her. Because indeed, it’s not about politeness or making it right for some. Sausage Party is about having fun with what those who are racist, sexist or xenophobic promote from their ignorant discourses. No need for the film to be the society’s paladin, but the jester. That is the point.

“Sausage Party” takes awfully ignorant social, religious, racial and political conventions and turns them into jokes. Well, most of them are not even part of the inventive dialogue, but characters or food brands. Some don’t work, others get lost in the amount of one liners the movie delivers, and then you get to the food sex orgy and you can’t stop laughing, even when “Sausage Party” is, sadly, definitely over.

PS: Megan Ellison, CEO of Annapurna Pictures and one of the film’s producers, confirms here how ambitious she can be. This is one of the many steps she has walked toward being one of the most relevant people in the industry.

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