Sam's Choices: Best in stoner comedies

As I was trying to decide between focusing on "Man of Steel" or "This Is The End" this week, I thought about how much I love the crew from the latter. So I decided to pick my favorite stoner films. This genre generally has a group of guys working toward one goal, usually while smoking marijuana and doing stupid things.

I don't enjoy these films because of the drug aspect at all, but because they are just incredibly hilarious and dumb. I also like that I can just sit back and watch, helping me unwind after a long day. Sometimes you just need a break from intelligence to watch some guys go on a quest to find the best hamburger to satisfy their munchies or run away from the bad guys that are looking to kill them.

I know that "Cheech & Chong" movies are the obvious choice for top stoner movies, because they were the originals in the genre, but I chose not to use them in my list, mainly because I haven't actually seen them. As with all of my lists, I looked up list after list of movies in the genre, trying not to forget any of them.

'Grandma's Boy' 2006

I can't remember when I first watched this movie all the way through, but I always caught the same part when it was on TV, which annoyed me. So I finally sat down and watched the full film with a group of friends in college. Since then, I have probably seen it 50 times, and it just doesn't get old. The point of this film is that this rag-tag group of video game testers are tasked with finishing their levels before the release date. It sounds simple, but add a woman as the boss of the testers, a group of old women that accidentally gets stoned and some serious partying and this movie easily moves up the ranks as my favorite in this genre. It's a Happy Madison production, so the cast is made up of all the usual Adam Sandler movie guys, minus Sandler himself.

It doesn't take any brain power to enjoy this film, so it's perfect for those taxing days where you work hard and just need to zone out. I love watching it with my brother; we always laugh the whole time and then spend the rest of the day quoting the best lines from the movie.


'Pineapple Express' 2008

All I remember from the trailer for this movie is a dirty-looking James Franco running from some bad guys with Seth Rogen and then jumping into a dumpster. Then he says something about how Rogen should get into the dumpster too, because Franco is already in it. That one scene made me see it. I remember laughing a lot the whole time, too.

This is one of the more violent of the stoner films I have enjoyed, but you don't really notice it because it's just so funny.

Franco plays a drug dealer who thinks Rogen, one of his clients, is his friend. They end up on the run from some bad guys and run into some ridiculous scenarios. However, it's pretty typical for a movie with writing credits to Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen, so I wasn't surprised by the content at all.

'Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle' 2004

This movie began the most pointless trilogy that I think I have ever seen. But, the first one was on HBO the other day and I just threw it on for background noise, and ended up getting engrossed in it right until the end. I had forgotten how entertaining and ridiculous the plot of "Harold & Kumar" is; Neil Patrick Harris steals Harold's car and the guys end up driving all over trying to find a White Castle to just take care of their munchies from smoking too much marijuana. How much better can a movie get?

A lot of people may think this film is just ridiculous, but I am a big fan, at least of the first one. The second one is even dumber and the third one just shouldn't exist. But, as with most movies that get sequels, the first one is worth watching, if only to escape your daily responsibilities.


'Strange Wilderness' 2008

I don't know the last time I watched this movie all the way through, but it's definitely a good one. As soon as I told my brother the topic for this week's list, he told me this movie had to be included, so I took that into consideration. When it came down to it, I was considering this film and "Super Troopers," which I was on the fence about including.

But "Strange Wilderness" was the one I settled on because it is just too bad to not include. The acting is awful, and the guys give the most outrageous facts about nature, but the laughs are constant. The guys are looking to boost the ratings on a nature show, so they unite on a trek to the Andes to find Bigfoot. Obviously nothing but absolute ridiculousness can come from a film with that plot, but it's entertaining and everyone should watch it at least once.

'Senior Trip' 1995

This was originally titled "National Lampoon's Senior Trip," but then somewhere along the way the beginning was dropped, so it became "Senior Trip" or sometimes "Senior School," according to IMDb. I was flipping through the channels with my roommate one night and, after reading the description of this one, we settled on giving it a shot. We were both too exhausted to stay up for the whole thing, but vowed to finish watching after enjoying the first 20 minutes.

We did finally finish it a couple of weeks later and we were both thrilled we did. This movie is Jeremy Renner's first feature film, and he plays a stoned, partying deadbeat who would rather throw a party at the principal's house than attend his classes. He pairs with another stoner, and they cause all sorts of trouble.

They end up, along with a mix of students, in a "Breakfast Club" style detention, writing a letter to the president about the problems with the country's education system. They then go to D.C. to present about the issues and I'm sure you can imagine what happens next. With Tommy Chong as the bus driver who eventually "parties himself to death" on the trip, you really can't go wrong.

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