Dagger was recently telling me how he had just watched Pineapple Express and really didn’t like it. I agreed with him as I fell asleep about halfway through watching it and never bothered to re-watch the half I missed. As I thought more about how I did not care for that movie it dawned on me that I really do not like pot movies in general. In fact you could say that I hate pot movies.
I understand there is a huge market for pot movies and it makes sense to me. The few times I have tried pot I really had no desire to do anything. I just wanted to sit and stare. One time worked out nicely as we were camping and I just stared at a fire, but I do that sober camping. I like fire. So it would make sense to make a movie for pot addled brains to just stare at, throw in a few jokes and bam you have made a smoker happy.
And that is where I think the problem lies. When you’re high, you tend to laugh more easily. Makers of pot movies realize and play to that strength, or rather rest on that laurel. It gives the movie maker the option to be a bit lazy. It’s almost like making a child laugh; one quick prat fall and you’re suddenly you’re Bob Hope.
But the lazy writing doesn’t just lead to obvious jokes, but also to lame stories. While it can be easy to blow a mind in a pot haze, it can be equally as easy to confuse it. To keep that from happening, the stories of pot movies leave something to be desired. Again it is like children’s programming. Now as you may know I have nothing against children’s programming as I watch more cartoons than a 27 year old aught to, but when I watch an adult movie with adult actors and adult themes I expect a story designed for adults. I guess that’s too much to ask for.
While the things above do make me absolutely hate these movies, I can admit there are some redeeming factors to them, and probably why I keep thinking the next pot movie I watch will be good. In Pineapple Express I really enjoyed James Franco. It was fun to see him not play James Dean or trying to kill Spider-Man. He was different and actually kind of funny. Half Baked has the brilliance that is Dave Chappell. That man could make anything funny. Half Baked is also very quoteable which helps it a little. But overall these things do not help make the movie than 90 minutes of stoner jokes. Even Chappell has said Half Baked turned out to be a pot movie for kids.
I think what pushed me over the edge in my hatred of this genre was a recent attempt to re-watch a Cheech and Chong movie. I got maybe 15 minutes into before I had to ask myself what the hell I was watching. It was so bad I actually believed watching Mrs. Doubtfire was a better idea, and perhaps this was why Dagger had it on the other day.
A few exceptions to the genre that I enjoy are Friday, which is more a movie about hanging out in the hood that just happens to have several scenes of pot smoking. And Dazed and Confused which is about how great the last day of school is that has several scenes of pot smoking. Neither of these revolve around pot and I think that is why I enjoy them.
I have nothing against pot. I don’t care for it, not my cup of tea. I just do not like the subculture, specially the movies, that go along with it.
Maybe I should just accept that I am not the demographic these movies aim for and instead of complaining about them just not watch them. But clearly I cannot do that, for I am an American and it is my duty to bitch about what I do not like. So pot movies, get the steppin’!
06 Apr 2010 Lee S. Hart