thatcow

I love Alicia Witt.

"Bongwater" is awesome. Sure, many of the jokes you'd have to be a stoner to truly appreciate, and, in some ways, it does advocate drug use through the colorful characters' joys of such practice, but the movie is far from being simply "about drugs."

The thing I noticed most about this particular film was the curious approach to the main characters' interaction. While the movie is technically a romantic comedy, David and Sabrina (played by Luke Wilson and Alicia Witt, respectively) do not act in a typical way towards each other...at least not in respect to other romantic comedies. Instead of "charming" quotes, tired cliches, and "cute" flirtations, David and Sabrina's love affair is awkward, distant, and misunderstood on both sides. Their growth as a couple is riddled with extraordinary circumstances, creating even more confusion all along the way. In short, the way they fall in love is not packaged and neat, but rather choppy and real.

This alone should give "Bongwater" more prestige than others in the genre, but director Richard Seers was obviously not satisfied with this alone. The drug content is also accurately portrayed. The movie tackles just about every drug you can think of in a very different way than most drug-related movies. Most films show darkness and misery as not only a norm, but an inevitable consequence of such behavior. "Bongwater" takes a different approach. While still showing the danger of such use (such as Fenton's party scene and Jamie Kennedy's character, Tommy), the film does not villanize stoners or junkies, but rather exhalts them as unique, loveable figures. The only negativity towards them is subtle and comical, maintaining the realistic perspective of the film.

In the end, we find that these characters are not, in fact, to be idealized. Even David, the main character, admits that he has grown weary of the drug scene and the people occupying it. The drugs are not the point of this movie, just a mode of comedy. Some of the movie's users are tragic, while some are adorable. The variety and subtle nature of this film moved me deeply, and I praise Richard Seers for taking such an approach.

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