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Stoned | Film Threat

Jan 22, 2023

The interesting thing about the low-key comedy Stoned is that the titular activity does not get the main character in trouble. Well, that is outside of some harsh words from some not-so-hip parents. Getting high is a real escape, and writers/directors Jonathon Davis and Aaron Cooper take great pains to show how and why it is such a fun and sometimes needed recreational activity.
Jon (Duwan Anderson) is a fastidious young man who cares for his mother and strives to be a good employee. Unfortunately, his boss seems out to get him, as she’s pissed at Jon for his choice of footwear on this particular day. So, while Jon would like to stay and flirt some more with co-worker Lena (Sarah Carroll), he quits and leaves (though later on, he’s told he’s fired, which is a little confusing). Little does Jon know that this simple act of standing up for himself cascades into his worst day ever.
Upon exiting the restaurant that formerly employed him, a douche runs into him. Demanding an apology, Jon acquiesces. But that’s not enough, so Jon gets beat up. Then his rideshare driver mocks him profusely for not making more moves on Lena. At this point, all Jon wants to do is get high with his best friend, A.J. (Tommy Bivenchenzo), and try to forget this day ever happened. Unfortunately, he might never make it at the rate things are moving.
Stoned is sweet and fun, though it does have a few flaws, only some of which are due to the presumably small budget. The biggest issue is the sound design, which is often too loud and does not fit within a given scene. This is evident from the opening scene, wherein A.J. is loudly snoring, ignoring his alarm. The sound of the man’s snores is so disconnected from where he is and much louder than anything else that they are noticeably added effects as opposed to something naturally occurring in the scene itself. These sound issues carry throughout the entire 72-minute runtime.

“…all Jon wants to do is get high with his best friend…and try to forget this day…”
The other issue is Jon’s choice of shoes for work. He’s wearing black tennis shoes (Jordans, maybe) that match his black pants and black bow tie. How and why these comfy sneakers are such a problem is never expounded upon. Viewers are told they won’t do but never why. Is it because they are more than likely not non-slip, thus causing potential insurance issues for the burger and shake joint? Is it because they have laces (no joke, I once worked at a place that required shoes to not have laces)? Given how major of a plot point the shoes are, not understanding what’s wrong with them is a significant problem.
Still, Stoned manages to work thanks to the cast sharing decent chemistry and the low-key nature of it all. Yes, this is Jon’s worst day, but lives are never in danger. The plot never turns into a cartoon, as everything that happens could reasonably happen to someone on any given day. As such, Davis and Cooper bask in the little things that allow people to get over the grind of every day. For most of the characters in this film, that thing is smoking a bit of weed now and then.
And that is the secret to the film working as well as it does. The filmmakers know an escape is necessary and don’t judge anyone for their preferred manner of relaxing after a hard day. This sentiment carries over into each person’s actions and allows everyone watching to root for them to find weed and get high. As a result, the whole production is surprisingly sweet.
Stoned has a technical issue or two, and elements of the story don’t always make sense. But the cast is fun, and its heart is in the right place. As such, this little comedy is an enjoyable time.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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