Another year has passed and the annual pothead holiday 4/20 has rolled around. See what I did there? Anyway, whether you celebrate the holiday or not, I thought it would be fun to run down the Top 5 Stoner films. All of which you can still enjoy sober! I’d also like to point out that the classic comedy Friday is having special screenings tonight in celebration of its 20th anniversary so, if you need something to do this evening, go check it out!
Starting off per usual with the most immediately obvious choice is the Seth Rogen, James Franco stoner bromance fantasy Pineapple Express. The most recent film on the list is also, probably, the most accurate to what it is like being a daily smoker. Following the adventures of Dale and his drug dealer Saul as they get entangled in murder, mayhem and marijuana growing. What’s so good about Pineapple Express is that, while it’s all about getting high, the chemistry of the characters and progression of the plot are actually top notch and fully baked. Not to mention, it’s downright hilarious, high or otherwise.
Cheech and Chong’s Up in Smoke
Though it may not appear like it on the surface, Up in Smoke is actually a brilliant satire on the perceptions and assumptions often laid on potheads. Some people don’t realize it, but this film is less about what it is to be an actual reeferhead and more about what the general idea non-smokers have of them. Everything is exaggerated, stereotyped and blown to extreme proportions. Cheech and Chong were the original team of smokers and they continue to be heavy activists for legalization, along with guest starring in a multitude of different shows and films. If you like this one, the duo created a whole series of films to check out! It is currently free on Netflix Instant!
The Big Lebowski
The Big Lebowski isn’t about plot, it’s barely even about weed. This movie, like it’s main character The Dude, is all about an attitude. That attitude that says “I just don’t give a f***”. Directed by the amazing Coen Brothers and featuring some of the sharpest comedy ever put to film, The Big Lebowski has gained an uncommonly rabid cult following with an actual religion spawned from the film teaching the ways and philosophies of The Dude. It’s hard to talk about the film in any regular context, it’s subversive, hilarious and weirdly comforting. Out of all the films on this list, I think this one is the best for all audiences, stoner and non-stoner alike. The Dude Abides. It’s also currently free on Netflix Instant!
As always, I felt the need to throw in something slightly more obscure. I wouldn’t say The Wackness is completely unknown, but it definitely seems to have flown under the radar. Recreating a distinct 90’s time period and vibe, The Wackness follows the misadventures of a young pot dealer looking to make his life better. He meets and falls in love with a young woman, and learns much about growing up and becoming an adult. The film combines stoner elements with a warm and well told coming of age story. Set in New York City, director Jonathan Levine cultivates an exquisite atmosphere of adolescent love and devotion to family. The Wackness may be low key, but its message and characters are sure to make their way from the screen to your hearts.
Okay, okay. I know this isn’t technically a movie, but I just can’t help but sing High Maintenance‘s praises as often as I can. The series follows a nameless pot dealer in New York City as he delivers his product to a horde of ridiculous customers. Some normal, some…not so normal. What starts out as short five minute gags winds up being thoughtful expansive episodes of varying heart and downright bizarre-ness. What’s exciting is that it was announced that High Maintenance would be moving from Vimeo to HBO! This is huge new for fans of the series and it means it’s the perfect time to hit up Vimeo and watch the whole first season for free. If you’re looking for a show that’s both stoner friendly and extremely accurate to how stoners act, look no further than the brilliant High Maintenance!