Tuesday, March 25, 2014

CIFF: "Oliver, Stoned" is Baked with Laughs

Oliver, Stoned has some high expectations to live up to in the stoner comedy genre. But it fits right in with Half Baked and Pineapple Express, both of which are sidesplitting classics in the subversive category centered around glorifying marijuana.

Oliver is a 26 year old living in his father's garage. A bit of a loser who can't seem to keep from screwing up in life — it might have something to do with smoking a bunch of pot —his shenanigans take a serious turn when a classic car he was driving for a customer to his father's car wash gets stolen. He steals an ice cream truck, believing the truck's driver had stolen the classic car and goes on a weed-empowered adventure to find the car. He gets some help along the way from Megan, who he met after destroying her scooter with the ice cream truck, and his paranoid pot-dealing friend.

The movie is full of laughs, including a hilarious dance montage in front of the ice cream truck and a generally crazy cast of characters who need to be seen to be believed, such as Oliver's dad, who thinks he is a rad 20-something bro dating someone half his age, or a sexually depraved blind clown. And a young kid riding around on his bicycle periodically shows up between scenes to move the film's plot along. Keep an eye out for pop-culture references throughout to movies such as Memento or the Veronica Mars television show.

The 38th annual Cleveland International Film Festival runs through March 30. To browse the schedule, visit clevelandfilm.org.

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