The Frat Pack Tribute Site Logo


Frat Pack Tribute Movie Preview: Smiley Face

Synopsis

Jane F, an unsuccessful slacker actress, is having a bad day. And it’s getting more outrageous and comically surreal by the minute.

Smiley Face is a freewheeling, cinematically stylized After Hours for the new millennium. Jane’s misadventures begin when she treats herself to a batch of cupcakes left unattended by her psycho roommate (Danny Masterson) that prove not as innocent as they appear, Soon, she is trying to cross town so she can repay an unforgiving drug dealer (Adam Brody), attend an audition, and somehow replace the precious cupcakes. Bumming a ride from her roommate’s friend (John Krasinski) - who is totally infatuated with her – she sets out on a long, strange trip. And when the original manuscript of the Communist Manifesto falls into her hands, things really get out of control. Sit back and enjoy the wild journey as Jane’s effort to get through her day proves an arduous task of epic proportions (like Sisyphus struggling with the biggest, craziest boulder ever.)

Review

by Sharon Gruber

Smiley Face, the name suggests a hippie like feel, going back to the days of the stoners and times of peace and love. When there was a certain feeling of freedom and laughing your cares away. Then there is Anna Faris, who’s character, Jane, is the typical pothead who represents today’s stoners to a more extreme level. A girl who is lost in her own world of getting high, and losing all responsibility from constantly smoking pot. The actress who is out of work, and the college graduate who’s degree is worthless by her lack of motivation all due to her addiction to weed. The nuerotic, the lost soul, the lazy girl who wants to get high, and the person who has no direction in life what so ever. Trouble finds her as much as she finds it.

In the film, Smiley Face, which has that typical indie feel, director Gregg Araki proves to have a unique vision on what life looks like from a stoner’s point of view. At the start of the film you see Jane sitting on a Ferris wheel talking to the narrator of the film, Roscoe Lee Browne, who is played by himself, is talking to Jane about how she got where she is, and why she is there. Until she realizes she is talking to herself and then freaks out, this is where the film begins and pretty much ends. The in between is a rollercoaster of laughter, shocks, surprises and inside pot smoking humor.

I have to say, I never really thought of Anna Faris to be an actress that I liked to see on film but after watching Smiley Face, I actually gained a whole new respect for her. Not to say that this is Anna’s best role, because I did have a hard time understanding who she really was, she didn’t seem to have much of an identity. Although her character does suggest from her smoking habits that she doesn’t have one, I still had a bit of a hard time feeling much of a connection to her. On the positive side, Anna's performance definitely proved her to be quite the comedic actress.

Then you have the other characters in the film, Steve the roommate (played by Danny Masterson), who typically looks and acts like the stoner on That 70’s Show, plays Jane’s somewhat uptight, yet, weird roommate. Danny does a great job in this film by giving the audience much to laugh about. Not what you would expect from him but absolutely what you would want to see.

Steve the dealer (Adam Brody), plays Jane’s drug dealer who also plays a character not typical of what you have seen Adam Brody play. With his long dreaded hair, and tattoos, Adam’s character has more sense than Anna’s in even acting like a saint compared to the smoke fiend that Jane is.

Jane Lynch plays the casting director who auditions Jane for a role. Lynch’s scene is small yet, powerful. Her reaction to Jane when Jane tries to sell her a bag of weed to get money to pay off her dealer is one to remember.

Brevin (played by John Krasinski) is Steve the roomate’s friend who has a big crush on Jane and is who she goes to as her last resort to help her out of owing money to her drug dealer and meeting him at the Annual Venice Hemp Festival to pay off her debts. Brevin is a nerd, and also proves to be a bit naïve. I really enjoyed his character, he plays this role very well.

This film is by far one of the funniest films I have seen in a while. The narration reminds me a bit of Idiocracy. The storyline isn’t very strong, but the comedy throughout is definitely worth the watch. I didn’t leave with a feeling of Smiley Face being a great film, but it did make an impact on me in some way as to where I would say that this is one of the most unique, and funniest pot smoking films that I have ever seen. Do go and see this film, at least once.

Photo Gallery

   
   

Netflix, Inc.