If you’re looking for a juicy and over-the-top stoner movie, you’ve just found it! How High is one of the first straight-up stoner movies I ever watched. To be perfectly clear, I did check out Dazed and Confused a couple of years earlier but that’s also a coming-of-age movie. And, full disclosure, Don’t Be A Menace is more of a parody than a stoner movie. How High is a hilarious comedy about two best friends who get into Harvard after smoking special marijuana. Once there, they will start raising hell and trying to educate the rest of the campus.
I’m strongly resisting the urge to tell you how they got that special marijuana strain because that story is just too hilarious and I want you to experience it while watching the movie. I’ll just say that they said the following: “I figured, if we study high, we will get high grades.” Now, that’s the type of humor you can expect here. How High is also a prominently African-American comedy just like Don’t Be A Menace, Friday, or better yet Senseless. However, there’s only one color that this movie and its fans see and that’s the color green.
Hell, some twenty years after the release of How High, I’m still quoting Jamal’s mama: “You are the first member of this family to go to college. But six years at a two-year community college is not what I had in mind”. As you can notice, this is a movie with a great script that hits hard. It’s at the same time realistic, funny, and offers more than cheap laughs. The same goes for some of the scenes which combined with breakneck pacing will leaving rolling on the floor laughing. And then rolling from the floor, then smoking and then laughing some more.
Silas and Jamal are two potheads enjoying their lives but still feeling the pressure to get a “higher” education. That’s why they decide to take the Testing for Higher Credentials exam or THC. But not before getting super high. In this elevated state of consciousness and with a little help from their friend they nail the test. Widely recognized as geniuses, Harvard soon knocks on their door and before you know it, they’re enrolled and ready to receive that higher education.
Can a movie that opens with Cypress Hill’s Hits From The Bong be bad? I submit to you that it cannot and as proof offer this fucking movie, How High. Of course, we can’t talk about it without mentioning the two leads Method Man and Redman. They were absolutely fantastic showing they can not only rap but also act. Apart from them, we’ll have the opportunity to meet a slew of hilarious and intriguing characters. From the I Need Money guy over Ivory to finally Baby Powder played by Mike Epps.
Each of them adds to the vivacious nature of the movie cementing it as one of my personal favorites. And I almost forgot to mention Lark Voorhies whom you might remember from the popular teen television show Saved By The Bell as Lisa Turtle. How High is also a movie that will transport back in time to the early 2000s. The music, fashion, and just the general vibe will make you feel nostalgic about that time. Everything seemed more innocent and easygoing, at least that’s my impression.
Even the story of how our two main characters met is adorable. Method Man had the weed and Redman had the blunt, it was a match made in heaven. And these almost unnoticeable one-liners just do you in while you’re laughing at the main jokes. For example, while the two of them are hotboxing in their car before the exam, a passerby comments: “Is this car on fire?”. Finally, I would like to add that if you want, you can go deep with this movie. You can look at race, class, and education issues which are highlighted here.
Director: Jesse Dylan
Writer: Dustin Lee Abraham
Cast: Method Man, Redman, Obba Babatundé, Mike Epps, Fred Willard, Chuck Deezy
Fun Facts: The title of the movie, comes from How High, a 1995 song How High by Method Man and Redman.