Photograph by Roe Ethridge, styled by Patrick Mackie; W Magazine Sofia Coppola Special Issue 2014.
The term “stoner movie” has, unfortunately, become sort of interchangeable with the “bro comedy” genre: It conjures up images of silly, male-led adventure tales that have been quoted into oblivion by teenagers. No offense to Seth Rogen, but we think there’s value in expanding your horizons. A little weed can elevate the most ridiculous Hollywood blockbuster into a Theatre of the Absurd masterpiece, pair beautifully with the most slapstick comedy special or sketch series, introduce infinite layers of complexity to an '80s classic or make a hyper-stylized auteur film feel like a revelation. And even if you don’t partake in the devil’s lettuce, it can be interesting to examine its rapidly evolving position in media and culture (see: a new marijuana-centric cooking show hosted by Kelis). In honor of 4/20, we’ve pulled together a selection of light, funny, laid-back fare (plus a couple of weird, super-stylized dark horse picks) you can stream on Netflix this evening. Happy holidays.
I Think You Should Leave With Tim Robinson
If you haven’t yet watched this sketch comedy series, tonight is a great night to start. It is a perfect show, high or not. Each of the six 20-ish-minute episodes is packed with an incredible cast of comedians getting themselves tied up in increasingly bizarre, deeply hilarious situations. Vanessa Bayer spiraling as she fails to come up with the right self-deprecating Instagram caption is perhaps the most incisive social commentary of our generation.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
If you’re in more of a mellow, nostalgic mood, allow me to recommend this 1980s classic. It balances frothy silliness with the bittersweet taste of ennui like no other.
Chelsea Peretti: One of the Greats
Chelsea Peretti’s hour-long standup special features extended riffs on wanting to text with her dog, the horrors of small talk, the time she vomited smoothie into an airplane seat back pocket, and the best way to piss off a “hot girl” on social media. She also pokes fun at the entire “stand-up special” structure throughout, interspersing her jokes with cutaways to dogs and old-timey Italian men eating hard boiled eggs in the audience. It’s an ideal combination of razor sharp and ridiculous.
Cooked With Cannabis
Premiering today, this cooking competition hosted by Kelis (of Milkshake fame) and Portland-based chef Leather Storrs is basically Chopped, but with weed. On each episode, chefs cook three-course meals that incorporate the plant (think less pot brownies, more cannabis-puree tortillas) to compete for a $10,000 prize.
A ridiculous, so-bad-it’s-good film that pairs very well with an uncontrollable case of the giggles. Just trust me.
This 2015 documentary, shot in the aftermath of marijuana legalization in Colorado, follows Denver Post journalists as they figure out how to cover weed culture and industry. An interesting, sort of wonky time capsule into what is still very much an experiment.
Harmony Korine’s dark, neon-hued crime drama is not for the faint of heart (read: those who tend to get a little paranoid after smoking). But it’s visually arresting, and the nihilistic themes might spark the kind of rambling philosophical discussions that only really work when you’re under the influence.
Adam Sandler: 100% Fresh
Adam Sandler returns to his musical roots in this unique take on the comedy special, with a lineup that includes such instant classics as “Phone, Wallet, Keys” and “Station 69.” It’s silly but also deeply heartfelt. You can practically feel Sandler’s warmth through the screen.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Would it be hard to follow the twists and turns of this cult-favorite absurdist comedy while incapacitated? Maybe. Will you care? Probably not.
Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle
Yes, this is firmly entrenched in the stoner movie/bro comedy canon. But it’s also genuinely funny, with a sharp, self-aware script and an all-star cast. Bonus points for the truly terrible early 2000s clothes—critiquing the outfits adds a little something extra to the viewing experience.
This sweet, surreal animated series about the pitfalls of puberty moves a mile a minute, with the kinds of patently absurd, multi-layered jokes and visual gags that will make you laugh so hard your living companions might ask you if you’re high even if you’re not.
Another dark horse, for sure. But think about it: With its slow pace, hyper-stylized visuals, Arcade Fire soundtrack and “woah”-inducing premise, it’s actually a perfect stoner film. And since we’re all living our lives through our devices for the foreseeable future, now is a really good time to revisit this one.