Smiley Face (2007) Reviewed

Anna Faris braces for high adventure. ...Get it?

Anna Faris braces for high adventure. ...Get it?

In the (rightly) disrespected “stoner comedy” subgenre, Smiley Face is Jamaican Gold. Anna Faris secures herself in my heart as top comedic actress of her generation with a performance that carries what might have been a VERY weak, scattershot, point-free movie. Greg Araki, who directed the WILDLY different Doom Generation and Nowhere, impresses with his ability to let Faris do her thing, leash-free. In SF Faris’ out-of-work actress, Jane, already in a wake n’ bake morning haze, scarfs down her gamer-geek roomate’s off-limits plate of cupcakes, unaware that they are packed fulla’ pot. Now, cripplingly stoned, her day’s errands have become a terrifying adventure. She must pay a power bill (before it’s shut off), score more weed so that she can replace the cupcakes, attend an audition, and pay off her drug dealer before he walks away with her thousand-dollar bed. As she ricochets between giddiness, psuedo-intellectual epiphanies, and stupifying paranoia, Faris’ performance is probably the best, most accurate and most hilarious portrayal of stoner flightiness than has ever been committed to film. One highlight is a brief throwaway scene in which backing her car out of the garage seems so wrought with peril that she ends up taking an ill-advised trip on the bus. SF is packed with interesting actors ranging from The Office‘s John Krazinski to Happy Days‘ Mrs. C, Marion Ross. It manages to be both absurd and completely plausible all at once. By being smarter than Half Baked and less frantic than either Harold and Kumar outing with a script that writes circles around anything Cheech and Chong ever had to offer, SF strikes a nice balance as a laugh-out-loud pot flick that invites non-smokers to laugh at the rest of us…er- them. I mean “them.”

~ by Number5ive on September 10, 2008.

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