The stoner comedy genre has never been a prestigious one but there have been many movies that have dedicated themselves to the art of “puff, puff, pass!” The concept of the stoner movie isn’t all that funny. There is nothing funny about smoking weed. But what is able to provide the humor, are the characters. Sometimes all a movie needs to do is make you feel good for a couple of hours and that is what is so great about the stoner movie: it’s all about laughing and if a movie is able to put a smile on your face, it can’t be that bad.
Here are five stoner comedy movies to watch on 4/20.
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)
This movie was the definitive culmination of Kevin Smith‘s career. Even though he was only in his 20’s, he had made such a huge impression out of the gate that it came as no surprise that he would make a huge name for himself and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back was riddled with nods and call backs to everything he had done up until that point in time.
I had only seen Dogma before watching this movie so I didn’t understand a lot of what was happening in the first act of the movie when they were both going around and visiting all of the characters who had appeared in Smith’s previous flicks — and only after I had watched Clerks (1994), Mallrats (1995), Chasing Amy (1997) and Dogma (1999) — (in that order), did I truly understand what the plot of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back was truly about.
Smith gets a lot of negativity these days (and probably for good reason) but his first five movies are still undeniably enjoyable and ones that I return to every now and then. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back will always be a guilty pleasure of mine and a movie that I will be able to watch over and over and never get bored of no matter how many times I rewatch it.
Ted 2 (2015)
Yeah. I can already feel you judging me on this one. Is this movie silly? Yes. Is it stupid? Absolutely. … and it makes me laugh every single time. I’m not sure exactly when Seth MacFarlane started to get hated on. Maybe it was around the time when Family Guy was feeling a little oversaturated The first movie is probably the better-crafted story but I prefer the sequel because this movie is the perfect example of “so bad, it’s good”.
Ted (Seth Macfarlane) marries his girlfriend Tami-Lynn McCafferty (Jessica Barth) at the beginning of the movie and two years later, they get a piece of mail that states that the government is choosing to annul their marriage because Ted isn’t considered by them to be a “human” but rather declared as a piece of property. (like garbage … or a piece of shit).
Usually, sequels rehash the best parts of the first movie but it has just as much of its own story to go along with similarly reused plot points. I never thought much of Mark Wahlberg but I chose to endure him for the sake of watching both of these movies. Even though he doesn’t provide much or any of the humor, it was able to give me a new perspective on him.
Pineapple Express (2008)
Uhm, I’m ashamed to say that I had no prior knowledge of the existence of Freaks and Geeks (1999) when this movie was first released. Seth Rogen was new to the scene and blowing up at the time, yet James Franco had already starred in Sam Raimi‘s Spider-Man trilogy and was very much a household name. So putting these two together in a movie really confused me.
Only after watching Freaks and Geeks did this match up make sense. The funny thing about this movie is that is was filmed before Superbad (2007). It’s hard to imagine, but it’s probably a good thing considering that this was the last good movie to star Seth Rogen just before he got overexposed with Zach and Miri Make a Porno (2008) the following year.
It also seems to be the turning point in James Franco’s career as he would eventually go on to somehow decide that Spring Breakers (2012) would be a logical career choice. It also stars Danny McBride, — who totally ends up stealing the show.
There was very little to no marketing for this movie. I didn’t even know it was a thing until a friend and I randomly decided to go to the theater otherwise I wouldn’t have known about it. But I thought: Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are funny guys and I loved both Shaun of the Dead (2004) and Hot Fuzz (2007), — what could go wrong? Well, apparently a lot.
It’s amazing the difference that Edgar Wright‘s vision and directorial abilities brings to this comedy duo. But even though this movie is vastly inferior, it actually has an interest plot. Two science fiction nerds who come over to the United States from England with the intention of visiting Area 51 end up meeting an alien. It’s so simple and that’s why it works.
Maybe it has to do with the fact that Seth Rogen was losing his commodity by this point in time and it just felt a little too predictable to have him be the voice of the pot smoking alien, “Paul”. But other than that, this has a great cast of comedians and there are a lot of great call backs to other extraterrestrial movies that make this more of a love story to what came before rather than bothering to be something that would form its own type of legacy.
Smiley Face (2007)
The best way to describe this movie would be to compare it to Brad Pitt‘s character in True Romance (1993). What would a day in the life of that character look like? This is the movie that exerts that concept. First, you wake up and get stoned. Then what? Real life ends up taking you down a rabbit hole of adventure when all you really want to do is just sit on the couch and zone the fuck out while mindlessly surfing the internet.
Anna Faris is by far and away the only comedian who is truly capable of pulling off the female stoner. There is something about her that is so intriguing, that I don’t think I will ever be able to put my finger on. Her sense of humor — or rather the way in which that she expresses and delivers her humor — is just so on point and random that you never know what she is going to do next. It is so natural and it’s what puts her in a league of her own.
This movie definitely tries a little too hard with the plot by the third act, but by this time Anna Faris has put on such a hysterical performance that you don’t even care. The only thing that matters is seeing how she is able to get out of this sticky situation that marijuana has gotten her into in the first place. It’s difficult to compare this movie to that of her others, but it’s one film that she absolutely should’ve gotten a lot more recognition for.
What is your favorite stoner comedy movie?