Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle

(Danny Leiner, Dir & John Cho (Harold) and Kal Penn (Kumar))

I know that as films go, this one is a piece of nonsense (brought to us by the same guy who gave the world Dude Where's My Car?) but I was in the mood for some nonsense and, having made my own quest to White Castle, I thought this would fit the bill. My particular quest came about when I was staying with a friend in Dearborn Michigan who kept talking of local fast food joints I'd never heard of - such as Tim Hortons (for donuts) and White Castle, where you buy burgers by the half dozen and they're steamed, not grilled. They come about the size of those breadrolls from KFC. So, after several episodes in which conversation kept returning to White Castle we eventually made the big drive to get some - I really have no memory of them being anything at all.

For Harold and Kumar, however, they have acheived mystical properties. Both have important stuff to do - Harold is dealing with the immense amount of work his stereotyping workmates dump on him (those Asians, they love to work) and Kumar is being pressured by his Dad to go to medical school: he has an interview in the morning, so needs to be fresh. Instead they go on what turns out to be an all night mission for White Castle. They are both pretty straight up guys, Harold in particular, except that they both do drugs - and there is one really wierd scene where Kumar dreams he is married to this ever-increasing bag of weed. Many things intervene to delay their quest (I guess that's what makes it a quest) - some nice (drugs, girls, a preacher's wife offered to them for sex) but many not so nice (racist yahoos, racist cops, Doogie Howser, prison, an escaped Cheetah (which turns out to be surprisingly helpful in a scene I found funny, even if others did not), a stolen car...).

Of course, they succeed - that's the basic premise of a comedy - and in doing so, everything is put right - with Kumar's Dad and career, with Harold's co-workers, with the rednecks that have been hassling them. By the time they finally made it to White Castle, I could have done with some myself. Interesting that this movie should be made the same year as the anti-McDonalds movie, Upsize Me (the premise of which makes no sense to me).


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