Harold and Kumar are sons of immigrants who taught them the importance of working hard, getting good grades and appreciating the opportunities offered by America, but what the two young men really want is to get high and get laid. And on the particular night the movie takes place, they also desperately crave White Castle burgers!
The bulk of the flick has them driving, hang gliding and riding a cheetah (!) across New Jersey in search of their fast-food Holy Grail, only to constantly get sidetracked by everything from extreme sports jerks (“Let’s go get some Mountain Dew!!!”), racist cops, wild animals, a freaky-looking Jesus freak and even Neil Patrick Harris (playing himself).
The movie is full of absurd scenes (the marijuana love montage has to be seen to be believed) and amusing cameos (Anthony Anderson, Jamie Kennedy, Fred Willard…), but what truly sets it apart is its two leads. John Cho and Kal Penn make a great comic pair as the title characters, as endearing as they are hilarious. Cho’s Harold is kind of the straight man, shy and reluctant to go crazy, while Penn is an utterly out of control foul-mouthed maniac. The same movie could have been made as “David and Jason Go to McDonald’s”, but the fact that the filmmakers dared to go for racial diversity is damn cool.
Says director Danny Leiner (who also gave the world “Dude, Where’s My Car?”): “We’re dealing with how perceptions of people are based on racial stereotypes. The movie both undercuts that and makes jokes about it at the same time, which to me, is the best way of dispelling myths about stereotypes and prejudice.”
Most importantly, “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle” is embarrassingly entertaining and made me laugh loud and often as much if not more than any other movie I’ve seen this year.
“This is either a really smart move or the stupidest thing we’ve ever done.”
Opening Film of the Comedia Film Festival, Thursday July 15th at Cinéma du Parc