Friday, July 23, 2004

Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle (a "Review")

Harold and Kumar: the funniest movie I've seen all year, completely mad. There's transgressive genius in the conceit of a Hindu on an epic quest for hamburgers and a Korean (Christian) in search of "Buddha" (i.e., high quality marijuana). And let's not forget the parallel quest of their neighbors -- Jews in search of the perfect hot dog. None of this is particularly remarked upon in the film, and in fact I got the sense that everyone in the audience in Orange last night completely missed it.

Side note: I predict more damage to the Bush presidency from a certain T-shirt Kal Penn wears in one scene than from anything Michael Moore comes up with in F9/11. 

Kal Penn is hilarious. Apparently he was in a crap movie called Malibu's Most Wanted, last year (I'm still not going to see it). And in real life he's a vegetarian -- so no White Castle. But it's a good ensemble overall: John Chu, Neal Patrick Harris (i.e., of Doogie Howser, and now of Cabaret), and Chris Meloni are great. 

I would recommend this as long as a little gross-out humor doesn't freak you out (for the record, the scatological "gags" are less numerous than the brilliant plays on ethnicity). And it's not a cerebral date movie (go see Before Sunset for that), or an "impress your colleagues with your exquisite taste and refinement" type of affair. Indeed, if anything, it's more of a "don't admit to anyone that you laughed so hard there were tears in your eyes" type of affair.

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