By tomorrow I might change my mind, though.
I don’t feel like I oscillate too much in my opinion of movies. The five star (with half stars!) rating system works pretty well for me. I find that it offers enough shades of grey to differentiate a movie I might like due to fond nostalgia but upon an adult viewing I realize that it maybe kind of blows (Dirty Dancing ) from a movie that I might like due to fond nostalgia but upon an adult viewing I realize that it definitely blows (Swing Kids). However, this time around, I found this new Judd Apatow Brand comedy – a well-intentioned experimental hybrid between a stoner flick and an action thriller – more and more difficult to rate as time goes by.
My Olympic addiction is complicating this, of course. The confusion about how I feel about Pineapple Express could be best described by various ratings on various categories. Or maybe if different parts of me could represent different judges from different countries – you know, the angry judge who’s a stickler for script and the benevolent judge who just throws gold medals at any actor with biceps and a strong chin.
Thus, I have decided to indulge myself and I’ve outlined my scores below, in the order in which I awarded them:
Two and a half stars – (Friday afternoon, midway through the movie.) At this point in the film, you realize that they’ve only laughed once or twice, probably at the idea of a hot high school girl dating Seth Rogen, but you are still hopeful that a hilarious sequence will pop up soundtracked by that MIA song from the trailer.
One star – (Friday early evening, driving home from the movie.) The disappointment is fresh and furious, and memories of the painfully slow editing still rankle. You find yourself longing for Forgetting Sarah Marshall to come out on DVD, just to experience the kind of script that Pineapple Express failed to deliver.
Half star – (Friday late night, as your friends enthusiastically ask you how it was.) WTF IT WAS AWFUL; DO NOT SEE IT. BURN YOUR WALLET AND THROW YOUR CAR KEYS IN THE LAKE. JAMES FRANCO* IS DEAD TO ME. I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT JOKER SIGNED UP FOR A MOVIE THIS STUPID.
(no stars all weekend as it flees from your memory)
Four stars – (Monday late morning, as you chat about it with your pals, who have now dragged themselves to see it, despite your warnings.) Some jokes begin to stand out in your memory, apart from the chaff of mediocre lines that have already faded. Suddenly, the whole idea of a guy who has to go through this life-changing event with his pot dealer seems hilarious in retrospect, even though you’ve never really been around a pot dealer, but you remember your high school boyfriend’s sketchy dropout friend talking about one once.
Two stars – (Right now and officially) Pineapple Express is a glorious idea that was directed badly, and ultimately, it’s us who suffer. The acting is good, the script is decent, and the characters have the potential to be hilarious. But when there are long, awkward pauses after each and every joke, reminiscent of Baby Mama, the entire movie feels like a high school play.
Aaaand five stars – whenever a picture like this one comes to mind.
*This is such a false statement said in the heat of the moment that I now really regret.