30/01/2014

First Watch: Harold & Kumar Get The Munchies

Director: Danny Leiner
Screenplay by: Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg
Release Date: November 26th, 2004
Recommended by: @optimum_beats

When I decided to embark on this little project I made it clear everything was fair game, and the moment Harold and Kumar began riding an escaped cheetah through a forest it was clear this is no Casablanca (which I also haven't seen). While it as first feels like an elaborate advert for rubbish looking fast food restaurant White Castle, this is almost definitely the best "two friends smoke some weed and whittle the day away with a series of random misadventures" comedy since Friday

The Cheech & Chong of the new millennium are an Asian-American (John Cho) investment banker who regularly gets stepped on by his douchebag co-workers when he's not failing to speak to his pretty neighbour, and an Indian-American (Kal Penn) terrified of becoming a doctor/massive stereotype despite being academically qualified to do so ("Yeeeah, just cause you're hung like a moose doesn't mean you gotta do porn"). So after getting suitably baked they get a hankering for some disgusting fast food only to discover the nearest White Castle has closed, so the night turns into an adventure that drags them to Princeton University, a hospital, a ditch, a weirdo's house, a petrol station, jail and mid-air courtesy of a spot of hang gliding. 
Comedies with endless silliness and a bit of Farrelly-style gross-out humour has never really been my thing post-Ace Ventura, but the ridiculous moments are genuinely funny and it's endlessly quotable. It also helps that the racial commentary doesn't feel shoehorned in for the sake of making a massive statement about idiotic Americans who call every Indian they meet "Apu". 

Many like to say Harold & Kumar Get The Munchies belongs to Neil Patrick Harris but everything that is good about this is down to Cho and Penn: two actors who have done the impossible and actually make you believe they've been friends forever. Two friends consisting of a quiet one and a louder one is pretty much the basis of most movie friendships but the pair do quite a bit with what they have and are instantly likeable despite being high off their face most of the time. I wanna have a beer with those guys.