Everything I Need to Know About Drinking I Learned From Hollywood

Relying on TV and film for drinking tips

Everything I Need to Know About Drinking I Learned From Hollywood

"Anybody can be a non-drunk. It takes a special talent to be a drunk." – Barfly

When we decided to do this booze-soaked special issue, I was a little concerned. What could a teetotaler possibly contribute to such a collection? Well, turns out there's something to be said for being able to remember a lot about the night before at the bar: I can tell you which of my friends should never run for public office, for example, but I can also explain a frightening amount about beer, wine, and liquor, thanks to dating a mixologist, living with a bartender, and associating with a few too many alcoholics.

But that's just the clinical knowledge. What about the culture of drinking? I like to think I've gotten it all figured out from watching TV and movies, but then again, I'm the kid who decided she'd learn to ski by reading a book and didn't understand why everyone was laughing when I ordered a Dr Pepper with a new phrase I'd learned – on the rocks – at age 6. What do you think? Did I get close?

1) Alcohol is "the cause of and solution to all of life's problems." – The Simpsons

<i>Old School</i>
Old School

2) Drink your feelings. – Lost in Translation

3) You're never too old to party. – Old School

4) Drinking at work is completely acceptable. – Mad Men

5) If you're "business drunk," you're good to drive. – 30 Rock

6a) Ordering something complicated makes you look classy. – Casino Royale

<i>The Apartment</i>
The Apartment

6b) The bartender can't hear you anyway. – Ocean's Eleven

7) White wine is lower in calories than red. – Bored to Death

8) When ordering Scotch, order something that starts with "Glen." – Swingers

9) IKEA furniture can only be assembled with the proper Scotch. – The Wire

10) You can drink Scotch all day and no one would know. – Seinfeld

<i>The Simpsons</i>
The Simpsons

11) "You would have to be an idiot of elephantine proportions not to appreciate this '61 Château Latour." – Ratatouille

12) If you have orange juice and vodka, you can be a good hostess. – Jackie Brown

13) All girls like Goldschläger. – Superbad

14) Cider tastes like pure, melted gold. – Fantastic Mr. Fox

15) The stuff with the skull on the label is the best. – The Legend of Drunken Master

<i>Jackie Brown</i>
Jackie Brown

16) The lyrics to "Bennie and the Jets" are vastly improved by a few shots. – 27 Dresses

17) You'll be judged by your friends in bars. – Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

18) In the South, it's OK to bring your baby to a bar. – Sweet Home Alabama

19) If you skip the big game for a drink with your future wife, people will always think you're crazy. – Good Will Hunting

20a) If you don't have anywhere else to go, there's always the bar. – The Apartment

20b) Sometimes, in fact, it's the only place left. – Shaun of the Dead

21) Tolerance is everything. – The Princess Bride

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Monica Riese
A Paramount Slate
A Paramount Slate
Paramount and Stateside programming heats up

April 3, 2014

Board Games and More
Board Games and More
Announcements from the Austin Film Society

April 2, 2014


drinking tips, Barfly, Ratatouille, Ocean's Eleven, The Apartment, Bored to Death, Swingers, The Wire, 30 Rock, Mad Men, Old School, Lost in Translation, The Simpsons, Casino Royale, Drink Drank Drunk

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle