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Inherent Vice

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Inherent Vice

Image credit: Inherent Vice, 2014

I’ve received several requests on Cinema Sips to feature The Big Lebowski, to which I always say, what’s the point? We can all quote it endlessly and drink White Russians without my advocating it. To satisfy the stoner-noir fans out there, I’d rather talk about a movie that is a little more bizarre, and a little less well-known. Like Lebowski, Inherent Vice (DVD/Download) is a movie that demands repeat viewing, almost as much as it demands viewing with a cocktail.

Adapted from the novel by Thomas Pynchon, Paul Thomas Anderson’s hilarious take on the 1970’s Los Angeles underworld was a bit of a mystery upon its release. Critics didn’t seem to know whether to love it or hate it. The consensus was- nobody really got it. Do I fully understand all the twists and turns of a plot centered on a Gordita Beach private investigator, played by Joaquin Phoenix in all his mutton-chop glory? No. Do I care? No. The movie is just cool as hell. Featuring Martin Short as a purple-velour suited dentist, Owen Wilson as a heroin-addicted jazz musician, and Reese Witherspoon playing, well Reese Witherspoon, with all this crazy I just can’t look away. Yes the plot meanders, but it’s so well-acted and so funny, that you just get sucked into the lunacy of it all.

I’m not going to say that the movie needs alcohol or marijuana to be more enjoyable, but it certainly helps. If you happen to live in a non-progressive state (like I do), and can’t get legal access to weed, then certainly the next best thing is a strong cocktail. I’ve come up with this zombie-beach bum hybrid to maximize your viewing pleasure. While watching Inherent Vice, I recommend drinking a Golden Fang.

Golden Fang

1 oz lime juice

1 oz pineapple juice

1 oz orange juice

1.5 oz dark rum

1 part apricot brandy

1.5 oz light rum

Splash of lemon-lime soda

Maraschino cherry and citrus fruit for garnish

Build drink over ice in a highball glass, stirring gently to combine. Garnish with a cherry and citrus fruit slice.

Golden Fang

Because of Anderson’s superb directorial skill, Inherent Vice succeeds in immersing the viewer in the world of 1970s LA counterculture. Full of Manson paranoia and unfortunate facial hair, it was certainly a city on the edge. If you’re looking for an escape this week, there’s no better place than Gordita Beach. Cheers!