Sunday, January 16, 2005

Harold & Kumar (& Doogie)

Last night I rented "Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle," and I liked it. Not loved it - a little too much of the frat boy/potty humor, I think. Also, for most of the time I could believe that all of this was happening to these guys in one night, but there was one or two scenes where it veered off too far for me to suspend my disbelief. (Kumar in the operating room. The guys driving all over NJ and running into the same people in every town.) Other than those few times, the piling on of bizarre adventures worked for me. It felt somewhat like "After Hours," which is one of my favorite movies of all time, and which has a similar "Oh, I thought that was bad, until this happened!" progression.

Weirdness: Neil Patrick Harris playing himself, as a drug-crazed party boy loner. Yeah. I watched an interview with him in one of the extras, and he said he was flattered to get the script and see that he'd been written in. His only concern was that there not be too many Doogie Howser jokes. Guess being portrayed as a guy who has sex with two half naked women through the sunroof of a moving car is okay, as long as they aren't calling him Doogie. (Insert your own "doing it Doogie-style" joke here.)

And the actor playing Harold? I don't know him from the American Pie movies (which he apparently is in, but I've only seen the first), but he was in "Better Luck Tomorrow" which I just saw on HBO this week. In that film he was the sleazy ubercool boyfriend - quite different from the shy, insecure Harold. Nice surprise to see his range. I want to see him in something else, but not the Pie movies. (Please.)

"Better Luck Tomorrow" is a weird film. It gets pretty intense and violent, but there is something compelling about its characters: smart, middle class Asian boys who don't fit in with the white boy cliques and are bored with their easy lives and so become essentially a criminal gang, complete with drugs and hookers and guns. The lead actor is extremely cute, too. Yes, I'm shallow. What can I say? It was produced by MTV films.


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