Gregg Araki takes off his usual kink'n'angst bisex-tinted spectacles and shows us the world from a stoner's perspective. Happily, this isn't the typical dumb serving of simulated stoned humor; it elegantly captures the flavor of such classic stoner moments as stoned paranoia, the giggles, massive confusion, stoned driving and "inspired while stoned." A huge factor in the success of this comedy is Anna Faris. She's been compared to Judy Holliday, but her subtly quirky performance in this movie is more reminiscent of a young Mary Tyler Moore, blending emotional humor with deft physical comedy, at once adorable, endearing and hilarious.
Araki milks her performance with simple yet inventive tech work, avoiding clichéd "stoned" camera tricks while making masterful use of his soundtrack to amp up the humor. And as usual for Araki, that soundtrack is loaded with great, hip, off-beat tunes spanning many musical eras, used effectively but subtly.
While obviously not a big budget film, the production values are top notch. Based on Araki's body of work, he's not only one of the hippest directors working today, but one of the most efficient.
The rest of the cast is perfect, including a small bit by Dylan Haggerty, who wrote the screenplay and deserves a huge "thank you" for breathing new life into the genre. His script is funnier, smarter, and more authentically captures the essence of being stoned than other drug comedies, including the very funny "Pineapple Express." Finally, while being stoned might enhance your enjoyment of this film, it is plain outright funny and would be extremely enjoyable straight, for anyone with a healthy sense of humor. In fact, it's a film that any sophisticated film buff should appreciate.
Smiley Face (2007) 720p
- Frame Rate:
- 23.976 (23976/1000) FPS
- Run Time:
- 88 min
- IMDB Rating:
- 5.8 / 10
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