Dazed and Confused

Dazed and Confused ★★★½

When it comes to stoner comedies they aren't usually my thing. I'm not now nor have I ever been a stoner. I have been to high school though, and while Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused is set in 1976 the year I was born and long before I went to high school, it's an accurate depiction of high school life in a lot of ways even today. Linklater nails it when it comes to that high school feeling, and the excellent ensemble cast is nearly perfect.

Dazed and Confused chronicles the lives of high school and junior high students on the last day of school, in May of 1976.

As I mentioned in my opening paragraph stoner comedies aren't really my thing, but I was able to enjoy and relate to this film based on it's affectionate and passionate look at high school life. All the dumb shit kids do in school is here. The drugs, awkward social interaction, and heartfelt attempts to fit in are all there. The kids in this film may have been "dazed and confused" living that 70's lifestyle, but there's so much there that is still relevant today. I think for most people high school is one of two things. The best time of your life or the worst. There's not much room for middle ground. You either have the time or your life or you spend those years miserable thanks to the kids having the time of their life at your expense. This film mostly shows us the good times. The times in these young people's lives where they have their whole lives in front of them and not a care in the world.

The cast is great, and it was really cool seeing a very young Matthew McConaughey and Ben Affleck. Both have come along way since this film. The younger actors headlined by Jason London and Wiley Wiggins are very good as well. There's even a young a young Milla Jovovich hanging out.

I feel funny calling this a feel good film considering the prominent role marijuana plays in it, but that's exactly what it is. It's lighthearted, funny, and fun. Richard Linklater has made a career with this type of slice of life cinema and he's pretty damn good at it.

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