August 6, 2008
‘Pineapple Express’ is High on Laughs
By Bob Strauss
"Pineapple Express" captures the buzzy stupidity of chronic marijuana use better than any other comedy I've seen. And it gets the unlikely friendships that grow out of the buying and selling of pot remarkably right.
Don't ask me how I know. Just rest assured that, as you're laughing your head off at this stoner comedy, it's all grounded in some pretty well-observed behavior. And that's even when it's satirizing drug buddy movie conventions and taking more exaggerated swipes at violent action films and the emerging genre called "bromance" comedies.
Dreamed up by producer Judd Apatow and written by "Superbad's" Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, "Pineapple" stars Rogen as constantly toking but quite clever process server Dale Denton. He doesn't particularly like his fully baked new dealer Saul Silver (James Franco). Saul, on the other hand, acts like Dale is his greatest pal ever.
Saul doesn't get out of his cramped little dope den much. But he has to split when Dale accidentally witnesses a murder at a drug kingpin's (Gary Cole) house. A crooked cop (Rosie Perez) is involved, and because the panicked Dale left a roach containing the rare and potent pot of the film's title at the scene, the bad guys trace it back to its exclusive distributor, Saul.
Paranoid and judgment-impaired, Dale and Saul set off on an odyssey of getting to know each other and getting on each other's nerves - and, oh yeah, trying not to get killed. Selling weed to middle-school kids and stealing police cars are some of the incorrect messes that result.
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