Tag Archives: Adam Devine

Have A Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics

IMDB would have you believe that mixing comedy with a thorough investigation of psychedelics, ‘Have a Good Trip’ explores the pros, cons, science, history, future, pop cultural impact, and cosmic possibilities of hallucinogens. But that’s a bold-faced lie. You want to know how little science there is? The scientist is played by Nick Offerman, that’s how. Have A Good Trip is a terrible way to learn about psychedelics academically, but a pretty entertaining way to learn about psychedelics anecdotally.

Several first-rate story-tellers, mostly comedians (as theirs is the only career path that couldn’t be negatively impacted by admitting this on tape), offer up fun tidbits from past trips. Lewis Black, Sarah Silverman, Nick Kroll, Rob Corddry, David Cross, Will Forte, Paul Scheer, Marc Maron…this list goes on for quite some time, so perhaps I’ll let you be delighted with the surprise of so many familiar faces (and just fyi, a couple of recently departed ones – Carrie Fisher and Anthony Bourdain).

Acid trips are like dreams (as I write this I realize this is true in more ways than one): nobody wants to hear about yours. And even from the mouths of our favourite funny people, sometimes accompanied by clever little animations, or less clever reenactments, most of these takes still land in the awkward category of “you had to be there.” Acid trips are not movies. They do not have plots or characters or crucially, a point. Of course, neither does this movie, which again, IMDB has generously categorized as a “documentary” but actually feels more like someone’s answering machine after they spent a weekend at work while all their buddies went to the desert to munch through a bag of mushrooms.

If you’re predisposed to liking the comedians involved, it’s not such much “worth your time” as “a semi-entertaining time waster” – bonus points if you’re 35-45, because the drug references are pretty dated.

Isn’t It Romantic

Natalie (Rebel Wilson) is no fan of the rom-com. She thinks romantic movies are not for her – perhaps love itself is not for her. She feels invisible most of the time. She’s timid at work. She doesn’t think that anything magical will ever touch her life.

And when she gets mugged on the way home from work one evening, it seems like an affirmation of all of the above – except when she wakes up, the bump on her head has her living in an alternate universe that resembles very closely the rom-coms that she so spurns. The rules and the irony are simple: she’s got to make someone fall in love with her to escape this fate, and suddenly the hunky billionaire who  never noticed her before is all over her.

The movie rolls its eyes at all the usual romance cliches, but then indulges in them in a riot of colour and open-armed enthusiasm, as if mocking the tropes gives permission to MV5BMjI4Mjg3OTk0Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTM3MzEzNzM@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1485,1000_AL_be unabashedly embrace them. But whatever, it’s fun, or fun enough. Rebel Wilson makes it work just by virtue of her own irrepressible personality. Larger than life, she somehow sells both sides of Natalie’s persona, the wallflower and the cheeky peony she becomes. Reteamed with Adam Devine, her cocky love interest from Pitch Perfect, the two have an easy chemistry that’s fun to sing along with – and believe me, this movie has more sing-along opportunities than most. You’ve really got to be on board with the vibrant cheese in order to enjoy this movie. It pretends to be cynical but it’s really not. If your sense of Valentine’s is at all gothic or ironic, move on. Love is in the air, in a pretty conventional way. Isn’t It Romantic is a piece of fluff that will soon be forgotten in the rom-com canon, but it’s light and airy and a fairly entertaining 90 minutes. More or less.

Game Over, Man!

First of all, I don’t like punctuation in movie titles.

Second, it’s possible that I both consciously repressed having watched this film on Friday night and unconsciously blamed Sean for having made me watch it all weekend long. And I’ve only just made that connection in the cold, cold light of Monday morning.

Alex, Darren, and Joel are members of the self-styled “dude crew” – which is just 3 weird guys who are hotel maids. Which, since we’re on the topic, in what universe does it take 3 maids to clean one room? Well, the same universe that employs 3 white men instead of 1 brown woman I suppose. But anyway, with Daniel Stern running the hotel, I suppose this flimsy premise isn’t the most unbelievable thing that’s going to happen in the next hour and a half.

So anyway. Bae, some billionaire’s son, is visiting the hotel which means two things: a) the stoner maids are going to pitch him their video game idea because they sure aren’t busy cleaning any rooms or anything, and b) Bae’s own security team is going to hold him and a whole bunch of other hotel guests hostage for money and the love of explosions. Will Alex (Adam Devine), Darren (Anders Holm) and Joel (Blake MV5BNzQ5YmQxZDMtNjEyNi00MmVhLWFkMTQtMTk0MjQzNWQwOTc5XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMzcyNDk1NTk@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,999_AL_Anderson) step up and save the day? Haha, no. Not even close. Not even unintentionally. I mean, they’ll mistakenly believe in their own hero potential at times (I extrapolate this from the slow-motion hero walks they do down dingy hotel hallways) but they’re never sober enough, smart enough, or organized enough to get shit done. But don’t worry for a single second that there won’t be enough bone-headed antics to go around: there will be blood. And guts. And digits and limbs and pieces of face sprayed all over this damn hotel.

These are the same idiots who brought you Workaholics for 7 agonizing seasons, so if you think that’s funny, this movie will provide you more of the same. But if your tolerance for lowbrow bro humour is as nonexistent as mine, and you like your movies to make sense, and baffling b-list cameos don’t impress you  much, and you’ve never been all that curious about human cheek prosciutto, then Game Over, Man! should be a hard pass for you as it should have been for me.

When We First Met

Oh good, another Groundhog Day ripoff on Netflix. I complained heartily when I came across the first one, but clearly not loudly enough. HEY NETFLIX: CUT IT OUT!

This time it’s sad sack Noah (Adam Devine) who uses a photobooth to time travel back to the day where he met his true love Avery (Alexandra Daddario) – and she met someone Alexandra-Daddario-“When-We-First-Met”-2018-promotional-pictures-3else. He got friend-zoned then but he’s sure if he can just repeat that day enough times, he’ll eventually get it right, and she’ll realize that he’s her true soul mate.

The movie is so eager to play a trick on you that it literally sacrifices logic and good story-telling. Then, once the ball is rolling, you realize that you don’t care what the outcome is because Noah is so damned annoying you just sort of hope he gets sucked through a rip in the space-time continuum on his travels just so we can end this thing a little early. Noah is not a guy you root for and Adam Devine has now spent 100% of his career playing whiny, self-centered douchebags whose mouths literally resemble anuses. So I’m starting to think he’s just playing himself, and I’ve officially moved him over to my shit list.

There is not a single redeeming factor here. It’s best to keep a safe minimum distance between yourself and this movie at all times, so when browsing Netflix – beware.