Oliver, Stoned is a stoner comedy, no great surprises there given its title. It follows a typical stoner man child character (Seth Cassell) who spends all day getting high and avoiding his responsibilities. He is failing at work, he and his father’s relationship is being heavily tested and he everything he touches seems to fall apart and go wrong. Not that he minds though because he is having far too good a time smoking his days away. That is until he is given one last chance to prove himself; he has to transport a classic muscle car across the city to his father’s depot. Seems a simple task but when he stops for ice cream it is stolen and he has to set out on a journey around town to find the car and prove himself a responsible adult.
The biggest problem with this film is that it doesn’t have any strong sense of direction; it develops a plot point which is full of opportunity and then it just lets it fall flat. Something happens and then its over, something else happens and then that came to nothing. The film isn’t short of ideas which have comic potential, it just forgets to follow through on them in order to develop both laughs and a well crafted plot. The best one can say about this film is that the cast tries. Seth Cassell brings a certian likeability to the underwritten role of Oliver and, although I wouldn’t say I wound up feeling anything for him, this character could certainly have come across far worse than he did. He is supported by Brea Grant as a Veronica Mars fan fiction writing companion; her character brings the sense to proceedings and Grant does a good job of crafting an engaging character out of a 2D script. The two of them benefit from having a lively supporting cast behind them, some of whom do really help to add a little weight to proceedings.
Ultimately there isn’t anything offensive about this one; the film keeps things pretty tame really and that’s a strategy which is both a blessing and a curse. By opting for a story with a moral and a love story and forgoing the extreme nature which many stoner comedies strive for we are left with something rather insipid. It’s not one thing or another, and although it does have its moments, it’s often insufferably half-baked.
What is the film’s greatest strength? Brea Grant does well with what she has.
Its greatest weakness? The script could benefit from another few drafts.
Would I see it again? No, I think once was all that I needed.
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