By: Jay Dyer
This movie was strange and if you had a hard time understanding it, I am here to help. From the outset there was a typo – “L.A.” was used twice in a row which should have caught the attention of any astute cinema titlists. (This reminded me of the award-winning Attack of The The Eye Creatures). As we will see this poor grammatical structure rises from the dissolute living of drug usage that afflicts our protagonist. This film also couldn’t decide what it wanted to be – for example, in the beginning, cars are amassed in a gigantic traffic jam on an L.A. freeway and like me, you were expecting this to be the result of the alien mothership appearing, or a gigantic CGI earthquake or maybe even a volcano – but no! It was because the drivers were happy!
These enthused motorists even exited their vehicles to engage in an improvised song and dance number. If you ever wondered what chunky hipsters and ‘the help’ would look like in an impromptu gay rave on the 101, this is your film. A note to the filmmakers – there wouldn’t have been a super stopped up freeway that day if they hadn’t filmed these wacko millennials and their street performance “art”! I know about this because I was in L.A. L.A. and had to pee really bad while on the 101 – probably while the camera crews were ogling these crazed diversity dancers!
This movie stars Emma Stoned and Ryan Goose, two stars known for their profound Hollywoodness and beefy, emotional, tear ductified acting portfolios. Stoned, for example, wowed in roles like playing the sexy zombie seductress (read pot-head!) opposite Woody Eisenberg in the hit series The Walking Dead (more like Lurching Dread – describing the feeling one feels from enduring this series).
From there, Stoned moved on to roles in MTV’s Real World Road Gruels (a short-lived spin-off of Road Rules focused around Stoned tasting local high school and prison cafeteria meals across the U.S.). Stoned finally landed her award-winning role in the recent civil right’s focused hit as Mammy in MTV’s The Help – Cribbed Edition! alongside Jessica Chazztain and Matlock. For those that don’t recall that plot, Matlock was responsible for getting some hardcore playaz off the FDA hook that had pimped they crib by selling shit pies (Not to be confused with Help! Starring the Ringo and the Beetles). Ryan Goose, on the other hand, is only known for his early roles in Are You Afraid of the Dark and Goosebumps, where he played a “GOOSEbump” known as “Goslingbump.”
In today’s film, however, Stoned has a steady job with a bright future as a barista (an early stage before one becomes a barrister) yet inexplicably leaves per promising job in the middle of day to interview at other jobs while on her cellphone! (dumb!), and then cries when she isn’t hired. Newsflash – no job will hire you while crying on your cellphone during the interview process, a total lack of professionalism.
Back at home these millennials seem to practice elaborate song and dance routines in their rental house and then act surprised when they can’t get hired. If all the time and effort put into choreographing dances around their Holy Priuses were put into getting a damn job (or keeping the one Stoned already has), they might make something of themselves. There is probably some occult significance for why Stoned has gigantic posters of Ingmar Bergman in her bedroom – does Stoned think her drugs and musicals will bring her the devil’s favor? They just might!
Meanwhile, Ryan Goose practices perfect game by totally negging Stoned in the TGI Friday’s where he plays weird songs for that one psycho asshole that made that kid’s hands bleed from drumsticks for being late to practice. Surprise! Goose was the one who honked the shit out of Stoned at the beginning! You never saw this coming until you realize he was so good at horn honking because he is the dude playing the piano in the TGI Friday’s. Then, you’re like ‘holy shit, that’s the Gooseman who was honking and throwing middle fingers in the mysterious highway rave sequence. Goose is a struggling musician who apparently lost all his money to a con man, but we are never told how or why. Perhaps it was the psycho drumstick man? We just simply do not know.
Goose apparently decides his only path to success is to try to become possessed by dead black jazz men like Ray Charles. Stoned isn’t having it, but then she is entranced by his music later that Spring when Goose appears to have come back from the future and Stoned can’t resist. Who is this futuristic music man with his space shades and hand-held piano? That can only mean these items were brought back in time (this film is all over the place!) – OR, did he go back in time, since the music here in this scene sounds curiously like something from the 80s! Regardless, Goose is clearly a time traveller, as we will see later.
Stoned engages in a rhythmic seduction dance that entrances Ryan Goose and we discover the duo are astrologically fated. Goose gets a job with Usher but can’t take the heat of the Ursher groupies with an Emma Stoned back home writing plays. Stoned writes and performs her own play called “Vagina Monologues” that bombs, but Usher has such a demanding schedule for Goose that the relationship collapses. Stoned can no longer hold down a job, as her “play” (clearly something she is imagining as her mental state begins to collapse and her mind fragments) begins to take on a life of its own! It’s looking like we are entering into Identity territory – are all these “plays” and events merely separate alter personas in Stoned’s mind – because she is super stoned? If we consider her name phonetically, it begins to make sense – “Emma Stoned,” “Am Stoned.”
Stoned on smoking so many drugs, Stoned dumps Ryan and has to move back home to “go to school” (ehem, rehab!). Ryan Goose decides to try to woo her back by declaring “Amy Grant” has called her (Stoned) for an audition, but this is a clever ruse, since the casting director is a black woman, and not Christian Contemporary Artist Amy Grant. Why Ryan Goose thought this bizarre line that wouldn’t even work in Nashville would get his Hollywood chick back is beyond me. My theory is proven, sadly, when we are reminded of the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sequences in the observatory, where the young people just float! First of all, people cannot float, and all this imagery does is show us the lead actors have a drug problem! They are high! And not high on love and life, but high on what those who know the streets call “la la,” or good weed – more like Crouching Tiger, Puff the Magic Dragon!
Later in life Stoned has become an MK Ultra Hollywood slave and has been given to some uppity businessman. Stoned dissociates and sees her fantasy world by accidently hearing Goose play his piano tunes that TRIGGER her! MK Ultra warning! Stoned, stoned out of her auburn gourd, dissociates and her alter sees the alternate life she lives with time travelling handler Ryan Goose. This movie gets 4 out of 5 doobies for being a drug-fueled cross between Reefer Madness and Identity with John Cusack.
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