It's April, and good old April 20th is fast-approaching for all you stoners out there. So hell, I figured I'd go ahead and do a stoner month since A) living in Canada, the gears are grinding to get things all Colorado-y anyway, and B) Stoner movies are definitely a guilty pleasure for yours truly. And to think it all started with 'Cheech & Chong: Up in Smoke' when I was just 13. Er, don't worry folks, I was perfectly sober. But since then, I've seen most stoner movies to date. Nothing to be particularly proud of, perhaps, but they have become a part of me.
Anyway, the following month is pot-related, so if you're sensitive to the issue, it's cool if you wanna skip out on this month. I'll understand. However, stoner movies, I feel, give a sort of fun, if artsy and strange perspective into film-making. And yeah, a lot of them are just dumb, but a lot of them are actually clever in their writing and portrayal of the common stoner. The following month will consist of four titles that I have had yet to see, but have been recommended to me as decent movies for this particular sub-genre, starting with 'Smiley Face', aka an hour and a half of watching Anna Faris walk around high.
Yeah, if her dazed "huh?" face and voice are any sort of annoyance to you, I suggest probably not going through with it, 'cause that's essentially what it is. The whole plot of the movie is "I ate a bunch of cupcakes that were laced with weed without knowing it, so here's my dazed and confused day, costarring cameos aplenty". Sounds pretty dumb, right? Well, yeah, the whole thing is pretty dumb, but it seems very meant-to-be. I can't possibly be overcritical about a movie that achieves what it sets out to do. All the movie is saying is "hey, here's a day in the life of a stoner".
To portray being stoned on screen is a difficult thing. It's hard to get it right, so usually movies end up having the stoner just see weird stuff and giggle a lot. But here's the thing - pot doesn't make you hallucinate to the point of like, seeing unicorns and the like. You get a little dazed, a little relaxed, a little paranoid, perhaps. Hey, it's important to note that there are two sides to the coin, and hey, sometimes shit can happen. And I have to admit that this movie does do a pretty good rendition of the stoner's mind at work. It's a little bit weird at times, but it's never quite "out there" to any extent where what's going on is unbelievable. It seems clear that this was written by stoners, or at least people who understood it.
In all honesty, I've seen very few stoner movies that get the ideas of marijuana right by balancing the good with the bad. In the end, this movie does that. While the movie is generally pro-pot, it does suggest that yeah, there can be a dark side to this stuff too. So, I'm actually gonna end up giving it points for that as well.
The only real downside to it all is that Faris' dazed and confused acting can get kind of annoying, and it IS very in your face about the fact that she's a stoner. But the film is an otherwise positive experience. It kind of does suggest that yeah, to a stoner's mind, after consuming about 8 or 9 cupcakes laced with weed, that slice of life day you're about to have just turns into an adventure.
It's not a great movie, and there's not a whole lot to it, but it's just one of those simple movies where the idea behind it isn't any kind of grand gesture. It's something for the stoners to sit back, relax and enjoy about an hour and a half with a stoned Anna Faris as she goes about a day in her life. Not great, but entertaining enough in it's humor that I'd revisit it if I had the time to waste.