Within the last decade a new crop of stoner comedies has crept up on the bleary-eyed souls that love them. The 80′s and 90′s saw a workable format for the marijuana movie, but in the new millennium stoner comedy’s have reinvented the usual buddy oeuvre. Rather than rely only on slapstick and friends, little adjustments have been added. Plus, we add to the original post from splitsider to make it more indicative of all the great stoner movies that have come out in the last ten years. We’ve already done the original canon of stoner movies, now lets look at the new class.
Here are the additions Splitsider thought warranted inclusion:
- How High 2001
- Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back 2001
- Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle 2004
- Grandma’s Boy 2006
- Pineapple Express 2008
How High is about a pair of friends (always a pair in these movies), that smoke herb made from a friend’s ashes and somehow acquire the super intellect to ace their exams and get accepted at Harvard. It’s the quintessential stoner plot, and Redman and Meth give it the cache to be important enough for all suburban white kids to love. Tons of “white dudes are lame” jokes to laugh at.
Kevin Smith’s Silent Bob combined with Jason Mewes finally get a movie of their own with Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Of course they’re gonna toke up. They were riffing off the stoner culture dealing herb outside the Kwik-E-Mart in Clerks. This is important to stoner movies simply because they finally got to headline one of Smith’s movies. It even did pretty well, but some of the jokes are “meh.” Everyone sorta wishes it had been better.
Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle continues the stoner trope laid down by previous stoner scripts, but this tweaks it enough with Indian Kumar and Asian Harold, so the ethnic jokes are more risque and poke fun at the stereotypes people associate with Indian and Asian people. Also, they have the requisite boobs with Malin Ackerman (she of Watchmen fame), and cameos, with the hysterical Neil Patrick Harris on an ecstasy and lady splurge that basically invented the Barney character he plays on How I Met Your Mother.
Grandma’s Boy is about a video game tester that has to move in with his grandma and two geriatric roommates. You can probably fill in the rest on your own. Needless to say the realism in this one is off the charts.
Is Pineapple Express an action movie disguised as a stoner comedy or a stoner comedy disguised as an action movie? We’ll never really know, but we will enjoy the comedic stylings of (get another degree whydontcha) James Franco and Seth Rogen. Franco can play stoner better than we thought, even though he doesn’t indulge (see Freaks and Geeks for more evidence)
Here are some older movies we think warrant inclusion
Detroit Rock City was ostensibly about a bunch of kids obsessed with Kiss, but it really spoke to the inner 70′s teenager that just wanted to get laid and smoke a ton of herb (some things don’t change).
Outside Providence was slept on by a lot of people when it came out, but it’s got Alex Baldwin as the perfect New England patriarch, and Amy Smart as the lady in question for protagonist Shawn Hatosy to “clean up” for. It’s rife with Animal House style corrupt school administrators and shows the viewer that pot smokers might be more noble than usually thought.
Saving Grace is sorta like Showtime’s Weeds, but the protagonist isn’t a self-absorbed mother who continues to make the same mistakes. This is one of my favorite movies, which is weird since it’s about a bunch of septuagenarians and one lady that sells pot after her husband dies and she faces financial ruin. Basically what I said about Weeds, but its got Craig Ferguson at his witty Brit best.
Smiley Face is a simple film about a woman that unknowingly eats some pot brownies and hi-jinks ensue. The only reason it made this list is because it stars the lovely and talented Anna Farris in a role normally reserved for some white actor that got a director’s kid out of a tight jam with some cocaine in their local Hollywood high school. Maybe I’m being cynical and my feminist mom is speaking through me, but the recent New Yorker piece on Farris says a lot.