Connecting The Disconnects At Harold & Kumar 2

April 27, 2008

After an intense and fun week at Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco, I played dumb yesterday. Slept in a meadow at World’s End, and capped off the day with “Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay“.

I LOVED “Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle” – watched it five times. Not only were the jokes hilarious, the entire movie flowed like a well-choreographed dance. Guantanamo Bay was, unsurprisingly for a sequel, lame. The experience revealed two disconnects that I feel like noting.

1) A.O. Scott’s review in the New York Times leaves you wondering if he liked it or not, but clear that he saw something of substance in it. The movie was not good (though not unenjoyable), and it lacked substance. That indicates to me that Mr. Scott hedged, reluctant to dismiss the film outright for fear of being uncool, or perhaps to compensate for his publication’s having neglected the brilliance of White Castle (lackluster “review” — or, rather, plot summary — here). Or both. Disconnect #1.

2) When Neil Patrick Harris first appeared on the screen at the Harvard Square theater, I hooted, confident that I’d trigger a hearty response in the pleasantly energetic audience. But no. Silence. I’ll admit that I first thought this told me something about the uptightness of Harvard students, who appeared to predominate. But then it dawned on me that if my memories of Doogie Howser are hazy, theirs don’t exist. That NPH currently appears in the sitcom, “How I Met Your Mother,” is unremarkable, according to my 17-year-old cousin (and aforementioned silence). Disconnect #2.

So “Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay” has college-age humor, cameos for thirtysomethings, and an ancestral mystique that gets it top-level press. All the right ingredients to get us in the theater door and help the movie do what sequels do best: Make more money without having to make more ideas.

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2 Responses to “Connecting The Disconnects At Harold & Kumar 2”

  1. nousha.com Says:

    Our team will go check it out!
    Thanks for your posting.

  2. Charles Francis Says:

    Oh wow, pretty good point there on disconnect #2. I took for granted that automatic absurdity of seeing Doogie Howser driving around as some hyper version of himself. After a certain generational divide, access to that nostalgic absurdity is lost.

    Didn’t “Half-Baked” do the same thing with Bob Saget? In fact, wasn’t that a core element of its marketing angle?

    Astute reasonings here, and I am inclined to agree with you.


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