Locked away in the freezing basement here at The Buzz Kill, I warm my frozen fingers in front of my glowing TV screen. Suddenly the screen burst with light from the smiling face of Jack Black. My eyes scan across the movie title, “Bernie.” “Well this looks hopeful,” I think to myself as I push play to begin the first of the many films I’m about to be subjected to.
You know a movie is going to be interesting when you hear the words “Jack Black” and “mortician.” Interesting is exactly the word I would use to describe “Bernie” starring Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, and Matthew McConaughey. Bernie, (Black) is a well-liked, light in the loafers, mortician that works for a funeral home in Carthage, Texas. It is there he meets the elderly widow and very rich Mrs. Marjorie Nugent (MacLaine) while at her husband’s funeral. The two become fast friends and Mrs. Nugent begins to lavish her wealth and attention on Bernie. However, Mrs. Nugent begins to demand more and more attention from Bernie, who eventually snaps and shoots her four times in the back. Bernie, wanting to give her a proper funeral when the moment is right, shoves her body in a deep freezer for the next nine months, where it is finally discovered by the police and Mrs. Nugent’s relatives. Despite Bernie’s confession, the townspeople are so forgiving of him that Danny Buck Davidson, the District Attorney (McConaughey), request a Change of Venue to ensure a fair trial.
The movie is shot as a documentary, interviewing the townspeople about Bernie and Mrs. Nugent’s characters and their relationship. What could have been an otherwise dull film that would have left the viewers wishing for the wasted two hours of their life back, despite its star-studded cast, is saved by the bizarre and somewhat comical townspeople. These townspeople could be found in any small rural communities gossiping about the most scandalous and hilarious disasters of the fallen. All the while holding a glass of lemonade and smiling at you as if they know something you don’t.
Okay… guys I watched the movie now. Can I have a flashlight? I swear there is a giant rat around here trying to convince some turtles to walk in that toxic sludge leaking from the pipes.