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I'm Short, Not Stupid Presents: 'Successful Alcoholics'

In this short film, directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts and starring Lizzy Caplan and T. J. Miller, a couple is awesome at life, despite being hammered all the time. But when alcohol is taken out of the equation, they are forced to reflect on their lives.

by Jeffrey Bowers
May 31 2013, 3:15pm

Under the heavy influence of alcohol I’ve done some pretty irrational and amazing shit. You get to the point where you feel invincible, but it’s usually at the cost of your night’s memory. The fortunate thing is that I’ve always had friends and loved ones to tell me about it the next morning. However, when you booze hard with a partner, fueling each other’s bad habits, you’ll never know the cost of your drinking. Maybe you do way cooler shit, but who cares if you don’t remember it? Those are also the sorts of events that lead you to vow to never drink again—a vow you'll never keep. Those glories and pitfalls of boozing are the focus of Jordan Vogt-Roberts's 25-minute short film, Successful Alcoholics, which structures a young couple’s weekend meltdown into a strangely poignant, yet perfectly timed dark comedy.

The couple, played by Lizzy Caplan and T. J. Miller, manages to excel at work, get out of tickets, and live without a care in the world, despite or because of the fact that they’re permanently shit-faced. Lead actor T. J. Miller, who also wrote the script, plays wonderfully as the slovenly provocateur in love with, and enabling the hell out of, a charming Lizzy Caplan. The two drink, break shit, vomit, undress, curse, and still do better than everyone else. They manage to please everyone in the face of pretty ridiculous altercations, but when just for a night they lose their buzz, they start to question their own happiness. With a premise that keeps the couple out of trouble, successful, and out of the humdrum of the everyday, Vogt-Roberts gives himself room to explore the real emotions regarding alcoholism. In the drama and nastiness of alcoholism there are a lot of potential setups for comedy, and the whole cast and crew nail it. Successful Alcoholics is a really successful short film. Funny, gross, tender, and honest. You can watch the film below, but remember to drink responsibly.

Jordan Vogt-Roberts started out making shorts and working on, but his first feature The Kings of Summer opens today. It’s a modern coming-of-age comedy where three teens decide to build a utopia, free from parents, out in the woods for the summer. It was one of the best reviewed films at Sundance and stars teens, but also Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally as parents. You can check more of his work out on his site.

Jeffrey Bowers is a tall mustached guy from Ohio who's seen too many weird movies. He currently lives in Brooklyn, working as an art and film curator. He is a programmer at the Hamptons International Film Festival and screens for the Tribeca Film Festival. He also self-publishes a super fancy mixed-media art serial called PRISM index.


Previously - Cunning Stunts