Originally released at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, High School is the directorial debut of John Stalberg Jr. With little on his resume, it’s hard to determine if Stalberg will offer a fresh take on the cliche, high school, stoner-comedy. Set to hit theaters in a few weeks, High School features Colin Hanks, son of Tom Hanks, and Adrien Brody, and rising stars, Matt Bush and Sean Marquette. You may recognize Bush; his resume consist of several small roles from television’s Veronica Mars to film’s such as Adventureland. Even if you don’t recognize him right now, with three more movies coming out within the next year (The Kitchen, Trouble With the Curve, The Gatekeeper), you’re sure to start remembering the name Matt Bush. Marquette seems to be Bush’s chubbier sidekick in High School, and also has a lengthy list of smart parts.
The Anchor Bay Films trailer for High School gives audiences a glimpse of the film’s slapstick humor. After the principal decides to give the entire school a random drug test and claims anyone who fails gets expelled, students Henry (Bush) and Travis (Marquette) decide to take matters into their own hands. The duo realize they will fail the test and decide to drug the entire student body with pot brownies so that everyone will fail. In order to get such a massive amount of bud, the pair take matters to Psycho Ed (Brody), a character who’ll draw laughs all on his own. While the plan is definitely something we would all like to have done in high school, the plot seems cliche. The stoner high school comedy is not a new genre by any means and it includes classics like Dazed and Confused and Half Baked as well as newer films like Grandma’s Boy.
Adding to a genre many consider to be cheap comedy, it can be difficult to come up with an original concept. Hopefully, High School will deliver a fresh take on the classic stoner film, while also shedding a new light on pot-smokers. In recent years, the talk of legalizing pot has made headway with the same human-rights, like-minded crowd that wants to legalize other basic rights, like gay marriage. Perhaps the film will draw more attention to the benefits of marijuana and its peaceful botanists, often overlooked by mainstream media.