First Hit: A few sparse funny scenes in this uninteresting poorly scripted film.
There are some out-loud funny scenes but I cannot recall any of them the day after – I just remember laughing, however, most of the time I spent wondering who thought up this stuff. Low grade attempts at humor mixed in with a few heart driven points.
One of the heart felt moments was when Chris Roberts' (Anthony Mackie) mother, Mrs. Roberts (Lorraine Toussaint), tells Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) to seize the moment for love if it arises and to not be afraid.
The scenes I disliked the most were with Isaac (Seth Rogen) as I didn’t find him funny – mostly low brow high-school humor. The mushroom trip he was on was not effectively shared and was not accurate to a "shroom" experience. The wearing of a large black Star of David woven into his light-blue and white Christmas sweater – was poorly contrived. His running out of the church yelling “we didn’t kill Jesus” was stupid and no one in the theater thought it funny – as there were audible groans.
The film's premise was reasonable in that Ethan’s friends, Chris and Isaac, supported him through each holiday season because his parents died early, but the execution just didn’t seem well thought out. The best part of the film were the scenes with Mr. Green (Michael Shannon) the long time drug/pot dealer.
Gordon-Levitt was fair in this poorly constructed role. Mackie was one of the better parts of the film in that he was believable. Rogen wasn’t believable stoned or otherwise and his annoying laugh made it worse. Shannon was the best part of the film, scary, insightful and thoughtful all at the same time. Kyle Hunter, Ariel Shaffir, and Evan Goldberg wrote a non-cohesive, sophomoric, mostly unfunny script – it felt like it was developed and agreed upon by committee. Jonathan Levine did little to enhance the poor script although a few of the sets were well crafted.
Overall: I went to this film because of the dearth of new films out this week – should of stayed home.