3 A.M. Netflix Nights: Bernie

Lately I’ve been going to bed at 5-6 a.m., so I’ve started watching all those movies on Netflix that I always pass up in favor of watching, I don’t know, Animorph-ass ANIMORPHS. So I thought, why not start posting little write-ups about them? I’m not going to take screencaps or anything, but if you wanna know what I thought, now you will know what I thought.


Bernie is a Jack Black movie released in 2011, so Black’s mustachioed mug has been staring out at me from the Netflix selection screen for a while now. I really had no idea what this movie was about before going into it. Something in my brain had related it to the Black/Ben Stiller movie Envy from years ago, but not for any real reason. It’s not like that.

Bernie is a dark comedy done mockumentary-style, focusing on black as the title character: a chipper, flamboyant small-town funeral assistant who befriends the local Old Rich Bitch. And hey, this is probably one of Black’s better acting jobs, from what I’ve seen. Bernie is way more subdued than your average Jack Black cartoon-character, and all of his eccentricities are pretty memorable. Matthew McConaughey shows up now and again as the town sheriff.

The movie presents itself as a series of interviews in which the townspeople discuss Bernie’s life, which pulls you in pretty well. You start off just wanting to know about this offbeat character, and once that wears off, the narrative has dropped enough hints about the larger plot that you want to follow those threads and put things together. There are some “Oh, shit” moments, and the movie made me chuckle throughout, though honestly none of the gags really stuck with me enough to recall them today. And hey, it’s based on the true story of a real-life Bernie, so that puts a little more doc into the mock.

It kind of tapers off as it goes, though; once the “big oh shit” occurred, my interest waned more and more. The climax itself ends up being pretty dull, though the conclusion fit the movie well.

Should You Watch It? Yeah, sure. It’s something different, it’s Jack Black playing against-type, McConaughey does his whole shtick, you get it. Even if the last quarter is dull, this is a pleasant movie that you can watch on Netflix with your eyeballs.


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