Every once in a while
someone aims for the benchmark attained by Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.
They go for the zaniness, the wackiness, the innocence. And they ultimately
No one can duplicate the
unbridled detachment of Ted, or the knight in shining armor values of Bill.
They search in vain for another George Carlin to dispense directory information
- to no avail.
Instead we usually get attitude,
losers, and people on the fringe whom we are supposed to relate to, admire and
emulate? Like the execrable Half-Baked. Whoopeee, let me spend 90 minutes with
waster losers in a film that cannot even execute a simple joke (to wit, they
just have to tell us up front that one of the losers is a janitor at a biotech
firm, instead of telling us all about his great important job and having us
realize he is an f'ing janitor. Probably a PC decision, after all, we do not
want to diss people who actually have to make their livings as janitors when we
are privileged enough to rate high paying entertainment jobs where we can
afford enough indulgence to off ourselves in our abject misery Chris Farley
anyone...but I digress.)
Fortunately we never see them
using here, and the joy and ingenue-ity of the two high-school time travelers
of B&TEA is almost captured in this farcical comedy, but it is more like a
Kentucky-fried vignette movie as the two mind-erase victims (total recall
anyone) try to remember the fastest night of their lives. I am not sure there
is a positive message about drug use here...but it is clear they got in a lot
of trouble and almost destroyed the world.
In Dude! though, the innate
likability, the humility, and at-sea dim consciousness
of the stars makes this a modest journey but a fun one. And I did spot the
temporal chrononizer thingy early on...
They are pretty dumb, and at
times the film approaches the disconnect of Pee-Wee Herman, but they keep
pulling it back. I think this is more because they did not realize how close
they were to getting it right - or simply inexperience on the part of the film
producers. The next one they tackle may be better - you cannot do something
like this and not learn anything.
Ashton Kutcher and Seann William
Scott are fairly well matched as Jesse and Chester the toking buddies, living a
simple life as Pizza delivery boys, emphasis on boys, who cannot find a trace
of memory of the night before. I think, if I took the time, I could piece the
night fully together (we never go back to that night which a friend really
liked), but it is a lot of effort for such a simple piece. I expect, after
repeated background noise viewings on TV, it may present itself en toto, but we
Expect a Dude! Where's my House?,
Tank?, B-1 Bomber? or somesuch in the future. (that last one could be funny if
there was some plausible reason to get them on an air base, and especially, if
they are totally clean and sober when it happens. Kutcher and Scott worked so
well in this one there has to be a sequel.
And, remembering its place in the
pantheon of teen films, though as stupid at times as anything ever done, it is
far superior to any [fillintheblank]-a-go-go film of the