CATEGORIES Comedy, Independent, Distribution, Home Entertainment, Cinematical Indie, Features, Movie News, CinematicalDespite having a familiar cast and an easily digestible concept, Gregg Araki's stoner comedy Smiley Face has been dumped to the same status as a modern Steven Seagal vehicle. That's right, according to MTV, it's going straight to DVD, following a barely-even-limited run in Los Angeles, that is. The movie, which premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival, stars Anna Faris (Scary Movie), John Krasinski (The Office), Jane Lynch (The 40 Year-Old Virgin), Danny Masterson (That '70s Show) and Danny Trejo (Grindhouse), none of whom are apparently good enough for a theatrical release. Maybe it's the fact that it can't be sold to Araki's typical fans, or maybe it's the fact that nobody likes to admit that Up in Smoke, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, Dazed and Confused, Knocked Up, Half Baked and Dude, Where's My Car? were all fairly popular and successful movies -- because then maybe it will seem like an admission that marijuana is cool.
Smiley Face stars Faris as a woman who starts her day by smoking up and then mistakenly taking care of her munchies with a batch of pot cupcakes. Then ... hilarity ensues. During its Sundance premiere, crowds were reportedly laughing non-stop (though Karina claimed that it received some awful buzz) and it seemed to be well-enough-received at later festivals, too. Jette reviewed the movie at SXSW, pointing out that it's "the kind of movie that will be more fun to watch with a big audience than alone on your DVD player." So much for that idea. Earlier this month, Monika saw the film in Toronto, where she confirmed its worth. "Araki's comedy gives us the best of many comedic worlds in an incessantly funny, easily-quotable serving," she said in her review. "From discussions of Marxism to love of lasagna, Smiley Face serves it all -- with some weed and a very, very stoned smile." Well, at least we can be sure it will develop a cult following on video; aside from that we can only hope our local art-house cinema will give it a midnight screening somewhere down the line.