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Smiley Face | DVD Review

“Better to spend your money on a dime bag and stare at a wall, rather than waste time with this drivel.”

Director, Greg Araki claims that after the completion of 2004’s critically lauded, Mysterious Skin, he wanted to do something light and upbeat. It’s an absolute tonal and intellectual flip-side–the result is the utterly vapid and juvenile stoner-comedy Smiley Face, starring Anna Farris, of Scream fame.

Here, Farris plays Jane F., a slacking, stoner, unemployed actress who gains a perma-high from unwittingly eating her roommate’s batch of pot-laced muffins. In order to replace the muffins and avoid the wrath of her “trekkie” roommate, Steve (Danny Masterson) she takes a loaner bag of weed from her dealer, burns it in an attempt to cook new muffins, and subsequently spends the rest of film on a mission to pay back her dealer (who has threatened to remove her furniture and belongings if the payback deadline is not met). Ridiculously high and paranoid Jane faces off with the outside world–cops, evil casting agents and general all-around ‘squares’ in an attempt to restore the muffins, pay debts and save her prized ultra-comfortable bed and save face with Steve (who is rumoured to be a ‘skull-fucker’, in that he literally fornicates with disembodied craniums). It is as bad as it sounds.

To her credit, Farris does her best with a tacky script that might just as well have been penned by giggling, red-eyed fourteen-year-olds. But watching Jane F., droopy-eyed, open-mouthed, and fumbling through the most straightforward of tasks becomes highly irritating very fast–yes, they sure do make some potent cannabis these days; but it seems she might be mentally retarded as well as in a dope fog–and that’s no laughing matter.

Four years ago Araki proved his worth with “Mysterious Skin.” It seemed that finally this man deserved to stand behind a camera. Here he squanders possible talent and wastes celluloid. Apparently the studio knew they had a dud–pulling the film after a one week theatrical run. Who knows what Sundance was thinking, accepting this as an entry–perhaps they hoped Mr. Araki would maintain his winning-streak. Better to spend your money on a dime bag and stare at a wall, rather than waste time with this drivel.

Aside from Previews, the DVD contains a Making of Featurette with a the director, actors and a handful of greasy producers trying to convince us of their passion for this ‘story’. As boring as the film itself.

Don’t waste time with this one. If you’ve seen any ‘Cheech and Chong’ or ‘Harold and Kumar go to White Castle’, you’ve seen it all before. Additionally those films are actually funny.

Movie rating – 1.5

Disc Rating – 1

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