Dude, Where’s My Car?
Choosing a movie to watch in mixed company when one of the girls doesn’t like action movies can be kind of difficult. We kind of chose Dude, Where’s My Car? by process of elimination, (Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels? No. Okay, what about Sweet November? No. Okay. Once Upon a Time in China? No. Okay…) and even then it turned out that the guy who had declined to sit on the video selection committee had already seen it.
Dude, Where’s My Car? was okay, but I think in order to fully appreciate what happens to the main characters in this movie, the viewer really needs to have smoked pot a few times. I’ve never touched the stuff, so I had to rely on hearsay from friends, which basically amounts to, ‘well, you get really stupid the next day’.
The movie opens with our stoner protagonists, Jesse and Chester, realising that they were so stoned the previous night that they have absolutely no idea what they did, or where they left the car. Gradually, they piece together various clues suggesting that they have won a lifetime supply of pudding, trashed their girlfriends’ house, acquired $200 000 from a transgendered sex trade worker, ordered Adidas tracksuits with hidden pockets containing things like live doves and Rubik’s cubes, leased a Mercedes, come into the possession of some gadget which will either save or destroy the universe, and totally cleaned up at mini-golf at the local theme park. Along the way they run into hot chicks in low-cut jumpsuits who promise to give them oral pleasure, a jolly but very sadistic impound lot bureaucrat, totally gay Nordic dudes, Lt. Cmdr Data as a very eccentric French ostrich-farmer (one of Jesse or Chester learns that all that time he spent watching the Discovery channel really pays off in a Monty Python-esque moment), a bubble-wrap-jumpsuit-wearing, minivan-driving space case cult, the local obnoxious toughs/cool people (think Biff in Back to the Future), and a guy who talks like Yoda with a pot-smoking dog (the dog has his own little doggie-bong). It’s like a stoner version of Memento.
As well as all this other stuff, there seemed to be some kind of a homoerotic subtext running through the movie. I’ve never taken any Critical Studies, so I’m probably not very qualified to comment on it or say what it all means, but I definitely noticed it. For example, Jesse and Chester, in their new Mercedes (can I just say that I wouldn’t want to trade a new Mercedes for the tiny, scrappy old rustbucket they actually turn out to have at the end of the movie) pull up at an intersection next to Fabio and some glamorous chick in some other kind of non-Mercedes car. They look at one another. Fabio revs his engine. Jesse and Chester rev their engine. Fabio puts his arm around the chick. Jesse and Chester put their arms around each other. Fabio and the chick start making out. Jesse and Chester, after a few moments’ hesitation, start making out. At another point, Jesse and Chester are leaning against a wall, one of them has his hand on the other one’s, then they sort of notice, and make a big production of moving their hands so they’re not touching. They appear to live together in a house that is not one of their parents’ basements. They do everything together, right down to having girlfriends that are twins (the twins are played by two different actresses). They are sort of like two halves of one whole. The only thing I can really make of it is that Jesse and Chester are meant to be a sort of symbol for one guy, with one girlfriend, but that the story would be pretty hard to tell in movie format of one guy’s misadventures looking for his car after a night of pot-smoking because there would be no dialogue and no way of telling what was, or was not going on inside his head.
Dude, Where’s My Car? should probably be rated by numbers of joints, rather than numbers of pints, and we did watch it in Victoria, but I’m going to give it two and a half pints, which is the average number of pints of beer consumed by the people who were watching this movie last night. If I had ever smoked pot, I might be willing to give it more joints/pints, but since I haven’t, I’m not sure I fully appreciated everything that happened in this movie.