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Watch: Full, Brilliant 25-Minute Short 'Successful Alcoholics,' With Lizzy Caplan and T.J. Miller

by Oliver Lyttelton
May 13, 2011 12:37 PM
9 Comments
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So, the weekend is finally here, and you're hopefully getting ready to unwind a bit. We'll be bringing you more from Cannes over the weekend, but to tide you over, the one thing you must watch this weekend (aside from "Bridesmaids," which again, we urge you to see, for your own good, because it's absolutely terrific) is the below short: "Successful Alcoholics."

We've been huge fans of the 25-minute film ever since we saw it at SXSW, and reported only a few weeks back that it was finally available to the public as part of McSweeney's Wholphin DVD magazine. And then today, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, a serious talent to watch, let us know that the film is now available to watch, for exactly zero dollars and no cents, on Funny or Die.

The film features rising stars T.J. Miller ("Get Him to the Greek") and Lizzy Caplan ("True Blood"), reunited for the first time since "Cloverfield," as the titular drinkers, a couple who have mostly managed to balance their alcohol intake and their professional lives, only for things to start to unravel. The stars produce, along with Vogt-Roberts, and Miller wrote the script, from a story co-written by the director. The cast also includes Nick Kroll and Tony Hale, among others.

As you'll find it in roughly 25 minutes and 13 seconds, it's a tremendous film: laugh-out loud funny throughout, but with a big beating heart at the center of it, and two performances that demonstrate why Caplan and Miller are going to be giant stars in the years to come. And the soundtrack, featuring DeVotchka and Bright Eyes, among others, isn't too shabby either. Watch it below, courtesy of Funny or Die.

Successful Alcoholics from Lizzy Caplan
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9 Comments

  • SimpleSimon | September 19, 2011 11:27 AMReply

    It’s sad when people try hardest to look for negatives, it doesn’t impress, it’s more impressive to understand why this a fantastic short film. Firstly you mistook this as a comedy... go back to literature class, the film is a tragedy. And a beautiful one at that. If you don’t connect to or understand the point of it, my guess is you haven’t gone out enough, met enough people and noticed other peoples lives around you. Its a very well observed commentary and delivered fantastically. I’ve watched it a few times and think it’s one of the best short films I’ve seen. The music is perfect, it helps illustrate the closeness of the two and a dependency on each other and not just the self destructive nature of their relationship.

    I suggest you watch The Hangover or some Ben Stiller movies if all you want is a series of fart gags and ‘awkward’ comedy sketches stitched together with some romantic ending to pass of as a story. The scenes in this are a narrative that lends towards the conflict, in many ways it quite classical. I’ll leave it there as I think if you don’t get it just by watching it, then it probably wasn’t intended for you anyway

  • Piotr | June 9, 2011 2:31 AMReply

    If they're making a funny movie about a touchy issue, fine, whatever. My beef is thus: Don't let the actors lapse into parody by "playing drunk," which they're obviously doing during the drunk scenes. "Playing drunk" robs the short of whatever humour & gravitas it may have had.

  • dcsmith1 | May 16, 2011 5:34 AMReply

    Wow. I've watched this a few times and, reading these comments I've gotta say... I no longer hold professional critics in contempt. This film, for all it's 25 minutes, contains several laugh-out-loud moments as well as subtle reflections of deeps issues (What's worse? Being out of control or bending to the drudgery of societies judgements?) ALL THAT IN 25 MINUTES! But you folks want to hack at it for having a song from another movie in it and then drone on about another film entirely??? Maybe Roger Ebert isn't a windbag... "Successful Alcoholics" may not be what you wanted it to be, but it was obviously done by people who are talented and dedicated to putting something out there that isn't a pandering piece of crap like most things churned out of the entertainment industry these days. That alone warrants some respect. Add to that great performances and an emotional tag to offset REALLY funny nuances and I'd ask you, "Could you ask for more... really?" This was an awesome project pulled off in my opinion, but I'll finish this by trying to bend to the drudgery of the average commenter here... um.... oh, yeah... The guy holding the boom mike sucks. There. Now I need a shower.

  • Emily | May 16, 2011 5:31 AMReply

    Was the boring friend Alona Tal who played Meg on Veronica Mars and was in an episode of Party Down?

  • jimmiescoffee | May 14, 2011 6:20 AMReply

    really good stuff. very funny. this film is better than 'bridesmaids'

    both are 30 minute films.

  • DeVotchka Fan | May 14, 2011 4:30 AMReply

    Pretty retarded that they used the little miss sunshine score?

  • geha714 | May 14, 2011 3:12 AMReply

    The short was pretty good, but it could be better. It needed more balance, because the first and second half were very uneven. Miller was OK, but I found him kind of annoying (I couldn't stand him in Cloverfield, but maybe it was the character he was playing). The only things that I didn't like at all were the guy cast as the cop and the use of "Little Miss Sunshine" music. It was out of place.

    But Lizzy Caplan kicks all kinds of ass. How she is not a major star today is a question that baffles me. She has presence, charisma, talent and beauty to spare. Maybe, it's the best thing that she doesn't end the way of Katherine Heigl's career.

  • Lucas | May 14, 2011 3:03 AMReply

    Jesus, I dont think that Successful Alcoholics was funny in the second half. It was more in line with Day of Wine and Roses where it got depressing real quick.

  • jimmiescoffee | May 13, 2011 12:55 PMReply

    in what universe is bridesmaids "absolutely terrific?" the film was overlong, slow moving, stereotypical and the gross out over the top garbage was fucking tacked on and out of place. the airplane and wedding dress scenes were not funny. wiig's presence saved the film, but then again she wrote it, so...hmmm

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