If Tarantino can gush over Dazed and Confused, which I thought was unimpressive, a little too corporate and obvious, on the nose, then I can bring up a far more interesting young and wasted story. Actually both films, like Fast Times at Ridgemont High and The Wild Life, cover pretty much the same territory. Superbad as well. It’s just that The Stoned Age is very guerrilla, balls out, and gritty.
Plus, I feel like I’ve met some of the characters in real life, whereas not so much in the other films. I felt distanced and completely alien to the Dazed and Confused characters. The ending in particular was an anticlimax.
Here, however, there’s a real interplay between the two main characters, sort of an anti-buddy comedy. These two are rubbing against one another like sandpaper throughout the entire journey. The plot, of course, hinges on trying to find a girl and party. That’s not the interesting part.
What elevates the movie are all the wacky side characters they come up against along the way. It’s an odyssey, and all these dregs and misfits are pretty much in the same boat as they are, out of love and trying to get wasted to pass the time and soothe their egos. The plot takes a major turn when a secret gets spilled, that there are a couple of eligible young ladies in waiting. Spilling this news leads to major conflict later on.
It’s a damned funny movie about the kind of misfits I remember well, without the feeling that there are 57 guys with machines and lights and cranes hovering about behind the camera.