Friday, July 23, 2004

The Pop Culture Petri Dish Goes to White Castle

The First Cablinasian Stoner Quest Comedy is a Hole in One

I know I promised my reactions to the Emmy nominations over a week ago, but unfortunately, even Pop Culture Petri Dishes need to earn a living.  So those reaction thoughts will be up sometime (I hope), though my fiery rage has definitely had time to cool to an indifferent shrug. But I wanted to write in to let you all know to check out Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle.  The trailers have been pretty funny, but even they won't prepare you for how hilarious this movie really is.  Even if you don't like stoner humor (I personally loathe it), this flick will crack you up (bad stoner humor gets laughs purely for referencing the symptoms and foibles of potheads and for reminding stoners in the audience of how awesome weed is - all the laughs in Harold and Kumar are legitimately earned through well-crafted, clever and universal comedy).

The movie is also of note for being the only truly multi-cultural movie I can think of (and certainly the first mainstream movie to reflect such a diverse melting pot).  There's not a single sympathetic pure caucasian in the whole thing, while the good guys comprise ethnicities as diverse as Indian, Korean, African-American, Hispanic and Jewish (for the sake of this argument, I'll include Judaism as an ethnic group).  It's subtle, and never heavy-handed, which makes this breakthrough all the more refreshing (as does the fact that it never falls into the trap of being cruel in its stereotyping - yes the movie trades on some racial stereotypes, but it's always poking fun at the stereotypes themselves, not the people behind them, as opposed to the horribly offensive and unfunny Rush Hour movies, which are just minstrel shows without the face paint).

Final Thought:  The product placement really pays off.  I've never had a White Castle burger, but I was definitely craving one after sitting through the 90-minute ad.  So I drove down Sunset to the temporary White Castle oasis New Line has constructed, on my own mini-burger-quest.  Unfortunately, last night's grand opening was only for invited guests (I think I spotted John Cho - Harold of Harold and Kumar), so I had to settle for a burger at another restaraunt that sprouted on Sunset as the result of its role in a film about a one-night quest - Mel's drive-in.


Blogger Alex said...

Thank Jehova, you're writing again.

July 23, 2004 3:34 PM  

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