I gave up on Sausage Party (2016; co-dir. Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon) after 20 minutes. There is a certain novelty in hearing grocery store produce—hotdogs, apples, potatoes, carrots--call each other mother fuckers. It's even more novel when a hot dog and a hotdog bun talk about the prospect of having sex for the first time when they arrive in the “Great Beyond.” But after a while, even with a hot dog, the joke gets old. Although the comedy in this film works mainly on a level that would appeal to 14-year-olds, there is an adult dimension. All the grocery store items long for that moment when someone from the outside world will arrive and put them into a grocery basket and take them out the wide glass front doors of the store to the Great Beyond. The Great Beyond is the afterlife, the hereafter, paradise, Shangri-La, heaven. When a customer accidentally spills groceries out of her cart and has to return a damaged item, one of the returned items--a douche kit-- reveals that the Great Beyond is not heaven but instead death and oblivion. Understandably, this revelation prompts existential angst amongst the vegetables, condiments, and other household products.
Isn't this the notion we’re all living with, that we've been living with all of our lives? We may already believe that the Great Beyond is nothing but oblivion. If we don't believe that, if we believe in heaven, or some other afterlife, don't we also live with the shadow of a suspicion or even more than a shadow that after it's all over with there's nothing but--nothing?
It's easier to contemplate this dark prospect in human terms than in terms of broccoli and carrots.