Netflix and Chill: 420 Edition – What to keep in mind while watching high

by Anya Jaremko-Greenwold

Some movies pair well with weed, while others suck regardless of how high you are. Comedies, in particular, seem uniquely suited to marijuana consumption; the good ones are funny sober, but even better high. The bad ones are slightly cleverer after you’ve imbibed. And the “stoner comedy” is the industry’s sole cannabis-specific genre, featuring classics like “Half Baked,” “Dazed and Confused” and “Grandma’s Boy.” All of these are excellent to survey post-bong-rip.

The perennial “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle” also belongs in this genre, but it’s not just a stoner-com; it’s a profound meditation on the simple joys of a young toker’s life. It’s additionally the rare Hollywood-bred buddy-film between two non-white characters (Harold is Korean, Kumar is Indian). The stoner bromance is a category with more than one good model, actually; “Pineapple Express” stars Seth Rogen and James Franco, and dramatically exemplifies how weed can bring people together. (Favorite scene: when the pair of stoners frolic through woods, trying to get a caterpillar high, swordfighting with sticks, and playing leapfrog like gleeful schoolchildren).

Many movies produced by Hollywood boast predictable plot lines. But when you’re stoned, everything seems a little more surprising. Lots of smokers become singularly focused while blazed, too; the eerie level of mindfulness allows their penetrating eye to detect minute details. Music, costumes, dialogue, whatever – your mind zooms in and produces startling analysis. You’re plunged into the atmosphere onscreen so powerfully, it feels real. Film plots are more convoluted and laced with complexities and connections. You come to understand philosophies, motives, or behaviors you never would otherwise. (Example: one time I watched the Super Bowl high, knowing nothing about football, and comprehended the entire thing perfectly).

Arguably, watching something under the influence lets you take the stage as the world’s best movie critic; poorly-made films usually crumble into artifice. You can somehow see right through it all – especially when the actors are strained and unconvincing. You know they are reciting lines. The script reveals itself to be shamefully corny, even more so if its a bombastic action flick or a weepy rom-com. But take heart! To avoid these side effects, simply watch good movies. Stay tuned for more suitable recommendations here.

Anya Jaremko-GreenwoldDGO Staff Writer


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