(In theaters, March 2001) Once in a while, there comes a film so mind-boggingly odd that it’s a wonder it got made. That’s exactly Dude, Where’s My Car?, a delightful absurdist science-fiction comedy that’s so good that it might be hard to acknowledge the fact that it eventually has to end. You wouldn’t expect a film about two slackers trying to find their car to be so inventive, but it just keeps building to better jokes. It’s goofy, good-natured, hilarious, without an ounce of pretension and with a surprising lack of gross-out gags so prevalent in current comedies. I laughed like an idiot and predict a wide cult following. Sweet!
(Second viewing, On DVD, August 2001) It’s remarkably easy to dismiss this film as being nothing more than a stupid stoner teen comedy, but look closer and you’ll change your mind. Oh, I’m not saying it’s smart-disguised-as-silly, but there is a considerable amount of clever go-for-broke gleefulness in the way the film just marches on and boldly goes places you just don’t expect. It’s not only a blast on a second viewing, but on the third too. The DVD includes some pointless “extended scenes” you might be hard-pressed to distinguish from the originals. I also features an audio commentary track that’s a trip of its own: It starts off in mid-laugh, continues incoherently for a few minutes, breaks off as one of them goes get beers (or goes to the bathroom) and generally presents a picture of the film being a perfect accident where serendipity had at least as big a role to play as the screenwriter. Still, it doesn’t change my mind; the film is a great little comedy with many delightful moments. See it! It’s underrated!