Rosetta Stoned Image

Rosetta Stoned

By Alan Ng | March 19, 2024

Two high school teens bond over a specific herbal supplement in Benjamin Vomastek’s comedy, Rosetta Stoned. Ryan (Chadwick Marge) is a senior barely squeaking by in high school, but prospects of graduation look bleak unless he passes Mr. Davis’ (Don Knill) first-period class. Ryan barely cares, but graduation means he can finally leave his lousy home situation.

Always late for class, Mr. Davis warns Ryan that he is on the path toward an inevitable prison stint for not giving a damn. Fortunately, Ryan has a loyal girlfriend, Cindy (Ruby Sevcik), who much like school, doesn’t put much effort into their relationship.

Then there’s Edward (Jalen Steudle). He is the school nerd as his life is planned to a tee, and he accepts nothing less than perfection. The only thing Edward doesn’t have is friends, and that’s where Ryan comes in. Unless Ryan can pass Mr. Davis’ class, he can not graduate. Thus forcing him to concoct a scheme to befriend Edward and then copy all his schoolwork.

The more time Ryan and Edward spend together, the more Ryan’s fake friendship with Edward turns into a true friendship. Everything goes swimmingly well until Edward asks Ryan to show him how to smoke weed…a weed so potent it unlocks Edward’s inner confidence.

“…forcing him to concoct a scheme to befriend Edward and then copy all his schoolwork.”

There is a lot of good in Rosetta Stoned. It’s a light comedy in that the story doesn’t try to force laughs every second. Deep down, it’s a story of friendship that leads Chadwick Marge and Jalen Steudle to be terrific as two teens on opposite sides of the bong, realizing the bonds of friendship. Both Ryan and Edward have something the other doesn’t. Ryan learns to take life more seriously, and Edward learns to take life less seriously.

Rosetta Stoned is very much an independent comedy as most of the film focuses its attention on the friendship between Ryan and Edward versus spending large amounts of money on high school games and over-the-top stunts, ala 80s teen comedies like Revenge of the Nerds. Nor does it get overly angsty like John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club. Here, the film’s budget focuses on the acting, character development, and odd characters.

That said. There’s nothing wrong with a raunchy teen comedy. It’s a light comedy in that we nowhere reach Cheech and Chong levels of pot humor nor come anywhere close to a raunchy teen sex comedy. The laughs come through the bizarre situations Ryan and Edward find themselves in and a hilarious performance by Don Knill as Mr. Davis, a teacher you’re not sure gives a damn or simply enjoys a bizarre sense of tough love. It’s good, but I always like to push the boundaries and cross lines of decency in my comedies.

Rosetta Stoned is a high school comedy about friendship that offers laughs, heart, and an R-rating for language and…weed.

Rosetta Stoned (2024)

Directed and Written: Benjamin Vomastek

Starring: Jalen Steudle, Chadwick Marge, Ruby Sevcik, Don Knill, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

Rosetta Stoned Image

"…offers laughs, heart, and an R-rating..."

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