With a title like Oliver, Stoned, the premise should not be a surprise: a man in his mid-20’s trying to have fun and not mess up his life while frequently getting high and stumbling into love and adventure. A majority of audiences will probably either find this film hysterical or borderline idiotic and I suspect it’ll come down to whether or not they share Oliver’s drug habit.
Oliver Barnes (Seth Cassell) is 26 and working for his dad, Jeff (Pete Gardner) at his car body shop. After picking up a car from an amorous older woman to get it cleaned, the car is stolen and Oliver begins a weekend adventure to retrieve it. To begin the trek, he steals an ice cream truck because he thinks the ice cream guy stole his car- makes perfect sense, right? Through a series of mishaps involving the ice cream truck, Megan (Brea Grant, Pitch Perfect 2), a female neighbor of his best friend and drug dealer, joins his adventure and learns the ways of pot-smoking.
Oliver’s relationship with his father is tested thanks to his poor work ethic and his father’s girlfriend, who does not like Oliver at all. Oliver’s best friend, Benson (Jim Mahoney) does a live-stream podcast, grows pot in his apartment, and is incapable of telling lies; which makes for a funny scene later in the movie if you remember this fact. A couple other mediocre subplots and characters get in the way of Oliver finding the car and succeeding in his mission.
There are a variety of concepts that are strung together in a mishmash plot that, for the most part, flows in a cohesive manner that most audiences should be able to follow. As an example of the random nature of the storytelling, a kid on a bike (played by Skylan Brooks of Southpaw) serves as the narrator of the story showing up at random times to fill in some plot points; except for one scene when the camera stops on him and he gets a little irritated because he has not been given the pages for that part of the story. There is also a cutaway featuring Oliver as a professor instructing on the proper use of a bong and the various types of bongs.
The acting is decent enough given the material with which they are working. It feels like the script was written by someone who also enjoy Oliver’s drug of choice (it is common to write what you know). The film does have a few funny moments for those of us that do not partake in any mind-altering substances; but the rest of this “comedy” is mildly amusing at best and general audiences will not miss much if they decide to pass.
Oliver, Stoned on DVD and Digital August 4.
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