Clip It: Each day, Jon Davis looks at the world of trailers, featurettes, and clips and puts it all in perspective.
The Goat trailer looks so meaningless and derivative, I thought I had to be missing something. I searched the Interwebs to find out more, and yes, it turns out this film's intent is complexity. You wouldn't necessarily know it from the trailer but Goat is a drama. A drama that explores how hard it is to be a douche-bro. Just like the movie, I sound like I'm trying to be funny but I'm serious. It is hard to be a douche-bro. It's a lot of pent up hostility, man.
Exploring male anger can be an interesting subject. I mean it is to me. Maybe because I'm a man, I don't know. (I also like Sour Patch Kids.) Anger is just a protection against hurt and sadness. It's a masking emotion but it hides the truth behind it. The trailer doesn't suggest any of that. It suggests an unfunny version of Animal House.
This is one of those have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too projects. It depicts all the debauchery of college fraternity life while also condemning it. So if you want to see naked woman and guys doing mean things to each other, this is the movie for you. And if you hate those things, this is the movie for you because this movie hates those things. While showing them. It's confusing.
Martin Scorcese is the master of depicting the fragility of the male ego. And yet, there's always a double edged sword. It's the Wolf of Wall Street problem. Lots of people walked away from that movie thinking the things people were doing in that movie was a nightmare of monotonous sadness and pain. But many people walked away saying, “Where do I sign up?”
Everyone's mileage varies. Fraternities weren't a big thing at my college. I truly don't understand the appeal of pledge week or enduring any of that stuff. I've made many close friends without needing to get naked in a pig pen with them. I could care less about whether someone punches or doesn't punch James Franco in one of those “Hit me in the stomach!” scenes that we've all watched 50 dozen times.
If you like frat pledge dramas, then I don't think you want to miss this one. But I'm going to stay away.