Making a stoner movie -- it sounds easy, right? Well, it isn't! First, you need a good idea, and then you need a, uh... hey, have you ever, like, looked at your hand? I mean, really looked at it. You ever think there could be an entire universe living under your fingernail. Oh, sorry: I got sidetracked. Making a stoner movie! Right! Well, every stoner flick has a totally unscientific formula that needs to be followed in order for it to be successful. So, in honor of 'A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas,' which opens today, Moviefone offers you a brief user guide on How to Make a Stoner Movie.
You will need...
A pothead that's way more stoned and stupid than the rest of his friends: There's Jim Breuer from 'Half-Baked,' ordering pizza, Funyuns, water, celery and grape jelly; Rory Cochran of 'Dazed and Confused,' talking about how George Washington used to grow his own secret stash in the fields of Mount Vernon. You always need one stoner who's too stupid for his own good to make the rest of the cast look like Einstein.
One psychedelic scene that is totally, 100 percent bonkers and makes absolutely no sense whatsoever: There's a scene in every drug-related film where the protagonists end up tripping on some totally ridiculous substance. Then, the weird stuff starts to happen -- rainbows pop out of trees, friends begin to look like animated characters, hands turn into some living, breathing creature that could choke them out at any second. Some good examples of this are the bowling dream sequence in 'The Big Lebowski,' where Jeff Bridges's The Dude pretends he's a bowling ball, and the bar scene in 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,' where Johnny Depp's
The stoner hero who ends up saving the day despite the fact that he's, well, stoned: Seth Rogen saving James Franco from a burning barn in 'Pineapple Express' and Ice Cube beating up the neighborhood bully in 'Friday' are two perfect examples of stoner heroics. It's hard to feel motivated by anyone who sits around and smokes pot the entire film, but -- in the end -- they manage to save the day.
A scene like this:
Quotables: Lines that fellow pot smokers can quote back to each other is an absolute must. For example, 'Up in Smoke' has "Hey man, am I driving OK?" And then of course there's Matthew McConaughey in 'Dazed in Confused with "You got a joint? ... Well, it'd be a lot cooler if you did." These movies may not have lived on if it weren't for the memorable quotes -- it's not like the viewers are going to be able to remember anything as complicated as an actual storyline.
An awesome soundtrack: No stoner movie gets by without an awesome soundtrack. The perfect example of this is 'Easy Rider,' which includes a murderer's row of awesome songs (Steppenwolf's 'Born to Be Wild,' The Band's 'The Weight,' Jimi Hendrix's 'If 6 Was 9,' etc.). A good soundtrack can overcome any plot deficiencies.
An existential question: That scene where a character asks a question that really makes you think. These existential moments can be as jokey as the point in 'Knocked Up,' when Katherine Heigl first meets Seth Rogen's friends after finding out she's pregnant. That's when she ends up getting questioned about her unborn baby "stealing" her food.
References to marijuana: Last but not least, the most obvious thing on this list. 'Up in Smoke,' features a car scene where Cheech and Chong smoke a joint the size of their arm. For something more recent, let's go with the main character in 'Grandma's Boy,' who has a giant bong he tries to play off as a flower vase.
So, there you have it: the secret stoner movie formula. Now, all you need to do is get off the couch, write a screenplay, gather financing, hire some famous actors and a director. Hm, actually, on second thought, that sounds like it could be stressful. Before you start, you might want to take something that will cool your nerves...
[Photo: Everett Collection]
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