The Stoned Age

I wasn’t intending to review this cult classic when I sat down to watch it last weekend. It’s not exactly the type of movie that gets much review attention. But when I was dragged into a wikispiral of gargantuan proportions, I found out something interesting.

Have you ever wondered what David Heyman was up to before he hit it big with the Harry Potter franchise?  Turns out, he wasn’t doing too much. But he did manage to produce The Stoned Age, the stoner teen comedy that was the unsolicited answer to Dazed and Confused. For the record ““ I really prefer Dazed and Confused to this movie, but I have to say, The Stoned Age has a certain charm.

Like any stoner teen comedy, this one focuses on the adventures of two friends trying to find a good time. And, like any stoner teen comedy, a good time means beer, drugs, and “chicks.” Over the course of the night, cops are run from, beer is consumed, and deep, teenage epiphanies hatch from new experiences and mind-altering substances.

Where does the charm come in, you might ask? Indeed, this is something hard to place. In part, it’s the obvious low-budget nature of this movie. It forces a fun campiness. In part, it’s the completely mind-blowing anachronisms. Sure, this is inevitable in a low-budget flick, but this movie takes it to new levels. For example, this thing is set in the late 1970s, specifically 1978, according to Wikipedia. One of the main songs in the movie?  Yeah, not released until 1981. Oddly enough, playing fast and loose with time just makes this movie more fun to watch.

But even with all, what pushes this movie into the “fun” bin is the strange placement of proto-feminist ideas.  I will say there is some skeezy sexual behavior, there are some underlying Nice Guyâ„¢ currents, and you can definitely find some subtle slut shaming.  It’s clearly not a perfect movie. Maybe I like it so much because I was not expecting to find anything redeeming about this movie.

Between the message that people need to talk and make real connections and be honest, and the idea that girls have value beyond their looks and cheerleader potential, and the idea that if you want to get “fine chicks” you need to be a fine person yourself, there’s some good stuff in there.

If you watch this movie, go in with no expectations. It’s the only way to enjoy the ride.


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