“I wasn’t gonna run from the cops but I was high (Uh, I’m serious man)
I was gonna pull right over and stop but I was high (Uh)
Now I’m a paraplegic and I know why (Ha ha ha, why man?)
Because I got high, because I got high, because I got high”
“Because I Got High”- Afroman
“Newlyweeds” is a movie about Lyle (Cheatom) and Nina (Harris), a young New York couple deeply in love….with smoking weed. While they seem to get along great and have spectacularly meaningful conversations, they’re also super, super stoned all the time and, as a result, there’s not much to believe in anything they say. Both Lyle and Nina are “wake and bakers” as well as on-the-job stoners and, did I mention, they really like to smoke weed? Because they do. A lot. But when reality starts to sink in around them, Lyle and Nina discover that once the hazy veil of marijuana smoke is lifted, there’s real stuff going on in life that you need to deal with.
I’ll fully admit that I am not a weed guy. To be honest I kind of hate weed and especially hate all the indignant recreational users screaming about how it’s medicine that they take with their cheap blunts and over the top bongs and pipes. I mean, I love beer but I don’t have a beer stein made of ivory mammal tusks with engraved skulls that I trot out when I want to get hammered. In short, I’m not a fan of the 420 lifestyle. Yet “Newlyweeds” is a big fan of that lifestyle and, good for them. This film will probably find a large audience due to that. But from the get go, I was lost on this film. And even though the subject matter was a turn-off, as a film it just doesn’t work.
Lyle has a job as a repo man for a cheap rent-to-own place and he hates it. I get that he needs to unwind after a long day of taking away poor people’s stuff. His girlfriend Nina is one of those flaky hippy type stoners who leads tours for kids at a local museum. A fun job that plays to her interests in archaeology yet she has to get stoned on her lunch breaks in order to be fun at work. And that’s basically what “Newlyweeds” is about: two stoners who smoke weed, dream about stuff that’s funny and intriguing to them before going to sleep only to wake up and do it all again. That is until the unimaginable day Lyle runs out of weed and a ridiculous plotline evolves that I think was either supposed to be serious or supposed to be really clever and funny to people who are stoned. In any case, I found it pretty ridiculous.
While I wasn’t a fan of the film, I liked Amari Cheaton as Lyle. He’s a likable guy and when he heads down a path of destruction, I did feel bad for him even though the path was a pretty big leap to make. Amari Cheatom as Nina is also good but as a guy born and raised in Northern California, I just know too many people like her character and it was off-putting. The film also looks great and Shaka King proves to have an interesting eye.
Yet for all the negative things I have to say about the film, my opinion here doesn’t really matter as “Newlyweeds” will be a huge bongload of success to the pot smoking contingency. They’ll undoubtedly relate to the feelings of the characters and all the awesome ways they smoke pot. There’s blunts, bongs, vaporizors and all sorts of fun stoner accoutrements that will be as thrilling to them as the latest strain. For me, I could do without a movie that has nothing to say and no idea how to say it.