From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Stoner film is a subgenre of films that revolve around the use of marijuana. Typically, such movies show cannabis use in a comic and positive fashion. Cannabis use is one of the main themes, and inspires most of the plot.
"Stoner film" as a genre
There are many movies about "stoners," films with characters who frequently use cannabis, and films that specifically target cannabis users, but these films are not, by definition, stoner films. A stoner film is a movie whose story line is patently centered around cannabis. The series of movies in the 1970s starring Cheech & Chong are archetypal "stoner movies." Some historic films like Reefer Madness have also become popular as "stoner movies," because their anti-drug message is seen by some modern viewers as so over the top that the film amounts to self-parody.
High Times magazine regularly sponsors the Stony Awards to celebrate stoner films and television. Many of these films do not fit the category of "stoner film" as a subgenre, but contain enough cannabis use to be deemed noteworthy by the periodical. For a list of films containing frequent cannabis use, see films containing frequent marijuana use.
Many stoner movies have certain elements and themes in common. The template involves two male friends who possess or are attempting to possess marijuana and have some task to complete. Stoner movies are always comedies, the plots of which are simplistic. Often stoner films involve evading authority figures, sometimes law enforcement agents, who are portrayed as comically inept, but also parents, coworkers, friends, and security guards who disapprove of the protagonists' marijuana usage usually out of a greater lack of acceptance of their lifestyle of leisure and innocence. Most serious moments are intended ironically, often to parody overwrought counterparts in mainstream cinema. The comic story arcs often approach or fall over the line into slapstick.
Stoner films almost always have male protagonists. Smiley Face was the first to feature a female protagonist. The men are well-meaning and usually sexually frustrated, and will usually come comically close to sexual success with exceedingly beautiful women only to have the opportunity lost due to chance or ineptitude.