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The Five Stages of Beer

While it's never as amusing as its title, "The Five Stages of Beer" brews up male-female relationships in a low-budget serving that delivers a pleasant respite from indie films obsessed with lovelorn yuppies. Tube viewing places the sexual fracas in the best framework, but post-fest watering holes are nevertheless limited.

While it’s never as amusing as its title, “The Five Stages of Beer” brews up male-female relationships in a low-budget serving that delivers a pleasant respite from indie films obsessed with lovelorn yuppies. Filmmakers Brian Mix and Mark Yturralde ponder how a loyal husband who’s dumped by his wife copes with the dating jungle, in a setting so nearly limited to a San Diego bar that the pic is just this side of becoming a vid-shot stage play. Tube viewing places the sexual fracas in the best framework, but post-fest watering holes are nevertheless limited.

Dennis (Frank Lauria II) retreats to the local bar after his wife’s sudden departure, and bar owner and unrepentant playboy Mick (Sam Upton) and bartender Sunny (Mau Barclay) offer him all sorts of tips on how to recover, including how to score like Mick. With some amusing switches of Dennis’ and Mick’s dates — Jenya Lano’s strong and sexy Audrey and Stacy Burnham’s rocker Staci — pic trucks in the kind of sexually laced material the French have always been masters at, but which here works only for brief stretches. The talk runs thicker than the liquor.

The Five Stages of Beer

  • Production: A Binary Films presentation. Produced by Mark Yturralde. Co-producer, David Glanzer. Directed by Brian Mix. Screenplay, Mark Yturralde, Mix.
  • Crew: Camera (color, DV), John Patzer; editor, Joel Fry; music, Peter Senchuk; costume designer, Kathryn Mayer. Reviewed on videocassette, L.A., Aug. 15, 2003. (In Dances With Films.) Running time: 86 MIN.
  • With: <b>With:</b> Frank Lauria II, Sam Upton, Jenya Lano, Stacy Burnham, Mau Barclay, Vince Cuseo, Stacey Branscombe.