By Vanessa Chen || Contributing Writer
Despite what my friends think, Sausage Party is indeed not an hour and a half of your life that you’ll never get back. Yes, the humor in Sausage Party is raunchy and even vulgar at times, but it hardly stops at depicting sexually repressed sausages and a very douchey Douche (Nick Kroll). The humor in “Sausage Party” is a vehicle for social commentary on prejudice, sex and God.
Directed by Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon, and voiced by well-known stars such as Seth Rogan, Kristen Wiig, and Jonah Hill, the 2016 movie opens in a supermarket, where food items live in worship of the “gods”—human shoppers. In order to be “chosen” by the “gods” to go to the “great beyond,” the foods have to keep themselves fresh by never getting out of their packages. Disaster ensues after Frank the sausage (Seth Rogan) and Brenda the hot dog bun (Kristen Wiig) slip out of their packages and “touched tips.” This horrible transgression starts the foods off not on a journey to utopia, but to discover the “horrible truth” about their “gods” and themselves.
First of all I would like to address some controversy raised by the movie. Do a quick search on the internet and you will find people offended by the ethnic portrayals that go into some of the food characters. If the pipe smoking, face painting, spiritual-nonsense saying liquor bottle—Firewater chief (Bill Harder)—upsets you, then good, you should be. These “offensive” depictions are playing with your expectations. Many stereotypes are ingrained in our minds by the media we consume—news, novels, TV, movies, etc. We either fail to notice the media’s influence, or are too ashamed to admit to it in a politically correct society. By unashamedly and outrageously depicting the stereotypes, the movie brings attention to how we perceive certain cultures and ethnicities. A joke is not a knife—it is a playful fist that knocks on the sore spots of society. The flabby lavash (David Krumholtz) with bushy eyebrows, a big beard and a big hook-nose is not poking fun at any Middle Easterners; it is poking fun at you.
The movie also plays with the conflict between what we believe and what the food items believe. We know that grocery shoppers are not “gods,” and we all know what happens to food (R. I. P the donut I murdered at 1 am). Therefore we all realize that the food items’ desperate attempt to keep themselves “fresh,” abide by our rules, and appease our wrath is utterly ridiculous.
However, I find the moral of the story to be too clear-cut—there is no god and everyone should have sex to their hearts’ content. I grew suspicious of the movie until I saw this scene—Frank the sausage (Seth Rogan) confesses that he does not have all the truth and apologizes for the obnoxious way he forces everyone to believe that the “gods” are evil. This scene solidifies Sausage Party in my mind as a brilliant, self-aware movie that is at once provocative and humble.
It is a great comedy not only because it makes you giggle like a middle school kid while your friends silently judge you, but it also gives you insights and emotions that you wouldn’t have expected.
Sophomore Vanessa Chen is a contributing writer. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.