Monday, 24 October 2011

Dude, Where's My Car?

Grr! I've failed! 4 weeks in and I've missed the deadline. I think thats a pretty good effort...
Note to self: plan better in advance for busy weekends.
Note to self #2: next weekend is also very busy.

So, I watched a bunch of movies this past week, some crap ones and some amazing ones, and some in between. My film class watched Indy Jones, but I think I'll have to take a rain check on writing about it - possibly do a post on the entire trilogy (the originals). The film I really wanna talk about today is Dude, Where's My Car.

This movie is... not a masterpiece. To say the least. But it is interesting, in a bizarre sort of way. I've never taken pot, but I get the feeling that if I did, life would kinda be like this film. I've heard it described as a gross-out comedy, but it really isn't. I've also heard it compared to Waynes World, which might be more apt (I haven't seen that movie for too long). It's basically a friendly, dumb, trip out tale of some dudes being dudes.

The plot revolves around Jesse and Chester. They live together, possibly with another dude who lives in the closet and only comes out once a day to pee in the pot plant. Theres pretty much no point in including his one scene in the movie. They wake up to find that after a night of partying, their fridge is full of pudding, they've trashed their twin girlfriends' house, and Jesses car is missing. Also, aliens are involved. If you haven't seen this movie, and this premise entertained you at least mildly, then it's probably worth your time to watch it, so long as you're with the right group. If reading this made you groan, you will hate the experience.

SPOILERS FOLLOW, but I'll try not to ruin any of the gags.

For me, my inner wannabe-film-critic was in a constant state of dissatisfied mumbling about consistency, character, plot development, bad writing, bad acting and bad effects. But, I managed to tune out of that part of my mind, and come along for the ride. There are things to appreciate in this film.

Lets start with some basic pretentious film interpretation: This movie puts you into the mind of its characters. By the end of this film, you could well be disappointed by its blatant regression to the cliche: "It was all just a dream... OR WAS IT?". But of course, we know it was all a dream. We sane people watching this film know that the things that play out in this film are utterly ridiculous, and given that the main characters are established as stoners, theres a good chance that none of it is real, and they're high as a kite the whole film. It's the kind of nonsense you might expect these two to talk about, and imagine are happening, in the car on their way to meet their girlfriends. But it's more than that; the film gives you a sense of what it's like to be these characters, while they're on their trip. Theres a kind of naive warm-heartedness with which they approach every obstacle in their path. When they get arrested and threatened by police, the pair act innocent until one of the cops recognises them. When said cop accidentally impounds their car and has it sold, they laugh it off and hop along on their quest to retrieve it. The two leads do play an excellent and charismatic bromance, that really conveys the sense of dumb fun that the movie requires of you to enjoy it.

I actually love how it starts out with an almost-realism about it, before it goes completely wacky. The real crazy stuff gets introduced slowly, and built upon, until it climaxes in an orgy of ridiculousness, thats so laughably lame you can't help but smile at it. The film is about escapism; going along for a ride, without fear or rationality, just pure dumb fun. If you do plan to watch it, check you're brain at the door,  bring some friends with you, and just be dumb together.