Sundance Review: Smiley Face
by Alex Billington
February 5, 2007
Smiley Face is a quirky midnight movie that premiered at Sundance from director Gregg Araki, who's had a few previous films at Sundance, including Mysterious Skin. Smiley Face is supposed to be a stoner's film all around that focuses on a stoner girl - Jane (Anna Faris) and her rather ridiculous day-long adventure. We start with Jane on a Ferris wheel thinking about orange juice with a historical document in her possession - and no previous knowledge as to how this happened or how she got there. Eventually we learn that she consumes more pot, both by ingestion and by smoking, than even Snoop Dogg, and begins to slowly meander her way around town trying to keep on track. The biggest letdown - Smiley Face is unfortunately not the next Half Baked.
The film is just a little too stupid, like Idiocracy, but with even worse filmmaking aspects; however, it's a dream film for a marijuana enthusiasts. At first I wondered why a stoner movie was being touted as a limited release independent, but now I know - it fits right into that category of campy and low-budget filmmaking. With cameos from John Cho, Adam Brody, Danny Trejo, and even John Krasinski as a nerdy friend of Jane's, not even small time comedians can save Smiley Face. There's no reason to go out of your way to catch Smiley Face on its upcoming 4-20 release, unless that is you are a pot aficionado yourself; and even then it may be better to stay home, smoke some pot, and watch Half Baked.