Sausage Party Hams It Up

Back in high school, my best friend Jess and I sat around writing brilliant comedies that packed in as much sex and violence as humanly possible, making the most of whatever framework in which our stories took place. Somewhere packed in a box deep in a closet are countless movie send-ups and faux radio shows that brought tears of laughter to the two of us, along with our select group of deranged friends who shared our sense of humor.

Seth Rogen and the rest of the writing crew behind Sausage Party, are the living embodiment of that tradition of high schoolers and college students the world over who write filthy genius comedy…only with financial backing and Hollywood support.

It is good to see such script-writing dreams come true.

Set in an alternative universe where our food walks, talks, sings, feels pain and has an overpowering sex drive, the food at a local grocery store merrily awaits the moment it will be selected by humans and go with them to “The Great Beyond,” a place where all grocery store merchandise’s wildest dreams will come true.

Enter Frank (voiced by Rogen) and Brenda (voiced by Kristen Wiig), a humble sausage and bun who tremble with the aching desire to be out of their packaging and united as only the anthropomorphic embodiment of male and female genitalia can be truly satisfied.

Yet, their dreams for the future are called into question by a jar of honey mustard that gets returned from The Great Beyond and tells of the suffering and terror he has witnessed in a human kitchen. The rest of the food cannot believe humans would be so cruel as to slice, dice, boil, sauté, bake, drain and otherwise defile their contents, but everything gets out of control when Frank and Brenda escape their packaging to try to prevent the mustard from committing suicide by jumping out of a shopping cart.

A journey of self-discovery gets set in motion, as Frank and Brenda roam free while a friend of theirs also experiences The Great Beyond only to return to save his friends with an epic battle against the humans. Mix in an evil bottle of douche that seeks to torment Frank, Brenda and their friends over a perceived slight, and chaos reigns at the grocery store.

Although it is a cartoon, Sausage Party is NOT FOR CHILDREN. It is not a Pixar film, but think of it as if Pixar set loose its id.

IT IS HILARIOUS for dirty-minded adults. Virtually every line and visual is some kind of sexual joke and/or double entendre. And if the subtly of some of the sexual humor is still not graphic enough for you, there is an all-out, grocery-store-wide orgy to close out the film with a bang. (All puns intended.) It is soooo wrong, and, still, so right.

The vocal cast is stellar. In addition to the leads and writers already mentioned, it includes Edward Norton, Salma Hayek, Paul Rudd, Bill Hader, James Franco, Michael Cera, Danny McBride and many others. And if it sounds like a male-dominated cast, remember the name of the film.

Of course, it leaves you with questions such as: why do the buns, which are already drawn to be very female, have breasts? Or, will the resulting issue of Frank and Brenda be corndogs? Or, what happens to cartoon food once it hits its expiration date? How do Frank and his bros stay fresh for so long out of their packaging?

“Nathaniel?” you might ask, “Why are so concerned about the imponderables of a fictional animated universe?”

Well, I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but if you stuck it out to the very end…is it fictional? Really?

Nathaniel Cerf was watching Sausage Party for the first time on New Year’s Eve. It is understandable that his sense of reality was a little off given the intoxicants available. You can reach him stone sober at