For a healthy morning meal, the USDA advocates a combination of fruit, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. It does not recommend beer for breakfast, and alas neither can we recommend Robert Scott Sullivan’s play of the same name. A sitcom pilot loosely disguised as an overblown two-hour stage comedy, Beer concerns four 25-year-old men lazing their way through a quarter-life crisis. Rob (the stuffed shirt), other Rob (the stoner), Boomer (the man whore), and Nick (the would-be actor) live in an apartment in the very east Eighties. How these young men—who utterly lack common temperaments or interests—came to live together or how a law student, a FedEx worker, and two of the unemployed can afford their pizza-box-and-poster-strewn pad are but some of the mysteries Sullivan leaves unsolved.
Sullivan’s script and director Jenn Bornstein encourage the cast of eager but indifferent actors to work themselves into an unmotivated orgy of tears, shouts, moans, and cries of sexual ecstasy. Overplaying is the order of the day. But Bornstein does give Meg Bartholomay, amusing as a clingy girlfriend, plenty of stage time and ensures that the ab-tastic Topher Mikels often appears shirtless. Indeed, if Mikels’s character is any indication, a diet of Bud Light and cold pizza may be healthier than we thought.