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Marijuana Minutes

average rating is 3 out of 5


Joe Beck


Posted on:

Oct 2, 2022

Film Reviews
Marijuana Minutes
Directed by:
Ryan D. Moore
Written by:
Ryan D. Moore
Rebecca DeMarco, Sophia Lucia Parola, Jared Cardenas

The stoner comedy is a dying breed in the cinematic landscape. We are long past the days when you’d get the next flick from one of Seth Rogen, James Franco, or Adam Sandler every month. Longer ago are the days of The Dude or Sean Penn’s Jeff Spicoli telling us “people on ludes should not drive’. In that respect, the aptly titled ‘Marijuana Minutes’ is a relic from a bygone era, the raunchy, sex-fuelled bonanza from the early 2010s, however, it is also a signal of how the genre can make a comeback and give the latest generation of twenty-somethings to take nature’s green grass with.


Refreshingly, unlike so many stoner classics - putting aside ‘Smiley Face’ - our protagonist is a woman - Amy (Rebecca DeMarco). Perhaps even more refreshingly, at a time in which half of Hollywood’s female protagonists are lazily written, flawless beings with no relatable traits for all those watching, Amy is remarkably human, and while by no means a role model, she’s at the very least relatable.


We meet Amy waking up in a pile of clothes, to the sound of a blaring alarm and to the tune of Playboy ManBaby’s ‘Cadillac Car’. She’s got no job, shares a basement with her intimidating best mate Clover (Sophia Lucia Parola) and spends most of her waking hours getting high. Honestly, like so many people her age, she’s a bit of a mess. Still, starry-eyed and full of optimism, she heads out to a job interview - no prior preparation - for the role of secretary at a tech company. For whatever reason (definitely not the casual outfit or her air-headed answers), she doesn’t get the job, but she doesn’t let that faze her - a sign of the kind of ‘it is what it is’ attitude that she takes to life.


As part of that easy-going, deadbeat attitude towards life she finds herself procuring a vape pen from her dealer friend Trevor (Jared Cardenas), who is a bundle of unabashed craziness every time he graces the screen. This isn’t like any other vape pen, no, it turns back time, opening up a world of possibilities for a deadbeat stoner.


Of course, being a messy twenty-something with no plans past the next day, Amy’s use of the magical vape pen is mainly limited to finding attractive men to spend the night with and messing with the lives of her innocent neighbours. With her priorities in order, Amy’s life is only complicated by the increasingly hopeless pursuit of a job, and the miserable attempts of Trevor’s dealer pals to reclaim their missing vape. This leads to panda hats, fourth wall breaks, and a surprisingly large amount of blood and gore.


The main issue with ‘Marijuana Minutes’ is that it lacks any semblance of heart in its story and that beyond its sheer ridiculousness it lacks much of a sense of humour. There are only so many lines which Rebecca DeMarco can flawlessly nail, and even the ones in which she falls fractionally short feel derivative and poorly written. Writer-director Ryan D. Moore has plenty of interesting ideas on the directing front - it’s full of verve and spirit - but the script lacks that same spark, and leaves a lot lacking. This is most apparent in the scenes revolving around Trevor’s dealer friends, in which subpar acting mixes with unfunny jokes to create painfully awkward scenes.


Nevertheless, the positive characters, lack of derogative humour, and overall buzz of creative energy offer a way forward for the stoner genre. With films like ‘Marijuana Minutes’, and the success of characters like Argyle in the recent season of ‘Stranger Things’, the stoner genre won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, and amen to that.

About the Film Critic
Joe Beck
Joe Beck
Indie Feature Film
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