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Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle

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Why it’s worth your time:

Look, these are tough times. While we’re busy barricading ourselves indoors – keeping safe from Coronavirus – we may feel the need for some wanderlust, adventure, and nostalgia for simpler times. If this sounds like you right now, then look no further! Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle is now streaming on Netflix. 

Is it technically a silly stoner comedy from the early 2000s? Yes. If you have seen Super Troopers or the first three American Pie movies, then you know what to expect from this one. However, Harold and Kumar has surprisingly stood the test of time in ways that many films from the genre have not.

Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle follows two best friends as they embark on an incredibly important quest, perhaps the most important quest a young American can ever be charged with. Yes, it’s that quintessential moment where you get a very specific craving for fast food in the middle of the night, and you will stop at nothing until you get exactly what you want. 

Going to a White Castle burger joint in the heart of New Jersey seems like a simple plan in real life. But this is a stoner comedy classic in line with Cheech & Chong’s Up in Smoke. Just like these two perpetually blazed buddies from the 70s, Harold and Kumar’s journey is as thematically explorative as it is incredibly ridiculous. 

Political themes are thinly veiled, given its release in 2004 when the hysteria of the post-9/11 era was at its peak. Moreover, the script addresses the struggles of being young, what it means to “figure things out,” and how you should exit your comfort zone to embrace both youth and maturity. Each of these themes affects Harold and Kumar’s friendship as they bumble their way through the Garden State, running into the strangest people along the way. 

Everything that could happen to someone over the course of an evening does in this movie. Although the premise is far-fetched, you get a true sense of what each character is like and how their relationship changes through that mixture between absurdity and truth. It feels as real as a massive drive-thru order at 3 in the morning. 

The takeaway:

At the end of the day, this is still a comedy. Use it as an escape from the panic of isolation of our current times.

Watch it with:

Your comedy loving friends, or those who are desperate to escape COVID-19 news.

Worth noting:

A few jokes are outdated or offensive by today’s standards. It’s a film of its time in terms of the content; however, the inclusiveness between the main and supporting characters opened many doors for a newer take on comedy – one which thrives in this century’s take on the ‘20s.

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