Wanted: Women in stoner movies

What can I say? I love stoner humor — and I got plenty of it without actually having to inhale at the new Seth Rogen/James Franco flick, Pineapple Express, which opened to glowing critical acclaim and a healthy toke of dough at the box office. While I laughed myself into near seizures, I had to pause and think about how there hasn’t really been a female driven stoner comedy.

Why wasn’t there a female stoner comedy scorched into our collective memory; a film that could stand the test of stoner time? I could not for the life of me recollect ever seeing any female comedy duos like Rogen and Franco or Cheech and Chong. I would love to have a protagonist I can identify with and I have a feeling a lot of movie watching females feel the same way, too.

When we do see women in pot smoking flicks they are most likely looking down at the loser stoner boyfriend, like Katherine Heigl’s character in Knocked Up. You never see female stoners concocting hilarious plans to take over the world, save the object of their affection or feed their munchies like the dudes get to do when they are feeling White Castle. Sure, there’s Mary Louise Parker playing the MILF-weed queenpin on Showtime’s Weeds, but that’s television. (You have to give it up to Mary-Kate Olsen though for playing a great pot-smoking Christian bohemian on the show.)

Film is different, and I can’t help but wonder if there is a new kind of celluloid glass ceiling for women to conquer. We’re seeing more mainstream acceptance of a highly contentious sub-cultural pastime and I for one know plenty of communities of women that partake in a little puff the magic dragon. Do women want a little stoner humor to call their own?

First, perhaps we should try and explain the dearth of female pothead flicks. Maybe actresses won’t be rewarded for accepting these kinds of roles.

I had to do some research to look for films containing scenes of females smoking pot either by themselves as awesomely individual agents of change, or with other females together in the name of female camaraderie. This is what I came up with.

Anna Faris plays the startlingly pathological stoner female lead in Greg Araki’s 2007 film, Smiley Face. She is hilarious as an actress trying to go about a regular day of auditions, paying bills and hitting the dentist all while stoned out of her gourd. Orange juice and Tostitos anyone?

In 9 to 5, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton break my heart as the working women trying to keep their heads above water in the face of everyday humiliation at the hands of evil boss man played with aplomb by Dabney Coleman. There’s nothing like a little herb to expose the absurdity of an abusive boss.

One scene in Set It Off is memorable because of two words: Sugar Bear. Jada Pinkett, Queen Latifah, Vivica A. Fox and Kimberly Elise keep their levity before taking drastic measures as bank robbing dynamos.

Bridget Fonda in Jackie Brown captures California clueless really well as a beach bunny bong ripper whose only ambition in life is to sit around and watch television.

You can catch Parker Posey, queen of indie film forever, smoking a joint thinner than her in the party girl film to end all Party Girl films.

We’re not advocating pot smoking, just that women be included in all kinds of films, even if they don’t happen to be Oscar-worthy.

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