Pitch: the first female-oriented stoner comedy

17 July 2012

Why are stoner comedies always about dudes? Just yesterday I caught a few minutes of one of my favorite great (i.e., stupid) stoner comedies, Jay Chandrasekhar’s Super Troopers (2001), and spent an hour fantasizing about what a female-oriented stoner comedy might look like. The Showtime series Weeds (2005-present) comes close, perhaps … but I’m taking this opportunity to make a pitch: what the world needs now is a great (i.e., stupid) female-oriented stoner comedy.

Here’s what I’m thinking: it’s going to be about librarians.

Great stoner films of history: Super Troopers

Seems to me that stoner comedies work well when they take a cultural stereotype — bumbling state troopers, middle-aged lie-abouts with penchants for bowling, slacker college kids — and take those characters on a wacky adventure.

You take a little of the office dynamics from Parks and Recreation, stir in some of the spooky library scenes from Foul Play (1978), sprinkle with some Tea Party types who’re so incensed about taxes that they want to close the library, add a few of the romantic library scenes from Party Girl (1995), maybe a dash of librarians vs. the anti-librarians from The Desk Set (1957), and you’ve got yourself a winner.

Great stoner films of history: The Big Lebowski

You want cultural stereotypes? Librarians offer any number of them, of course, from the disapproving “shush!” type to the cranky weirdo who doesn’t really want you to touch any of the books to the naughty librarian who takes off her glasses suggestively and perhaps unbuttons the top button of her sweater. Less stereotypical is the fact that librarians have become cultural heroes for privacy and free speech by standing up to Homeland Security wanting to know all the details of your library record. Librarians are a rich, untapped source of great narrative potential.

Moreover, anyone who spends time in an urban public library knows the patrons are, well, interesting. Libraries are full of homeless people, sketchy types trying to look at porn on library computers, little old ladies looking for that series of books about a lady detective whose cat helps her solve crimes, lots of children, and that person with spectacularly flimsy claims that he/she is sure he/she returned that book that has now amassed $230 in overdue fines.

Great stoner films of history: Friday

Anyone with a passing familiarity with the Harry Potter franchise will also know that libraries play a serious role in earnest stories, too — uncovering mysteries, pursuing knowledge, improving one’s chances at success and love — so our librarian stoner hero might also need a dash of the “books are awesome!” alongside the wacky stuff.

From my brief experience working in a library I can also assure you that librarians are stunningly attractive to the people they assist. Honestly: if you’re looking for dates, work in a library. I’ve never been propositioned so often, and I didn’t even try the whole naughty librarian getup.

Great stoner films of history: Up in Smoke

So I figure my female-oriented stoner film will have librarians assisting patrons with information about hydroponics; fighting Tea Party types who want to shut down the library (BTW, do you know about this great campaign to save the library in Troy, Michigan?); uncovering corruption in city hall; and finding their enjoyment of medical marijuana helps to foster a few romances.

Naturally, my film will feature scenes in which people do things inside the library that aren’t ordinarily permitted: have hot sex, dance on tables, drink beverages, and bypass the parental/ pornography controls on internet library terminals. Naturally, our heroes will get the munchies.

Great stoner films of history: Harold and Kumar, etc.

I might even have to reprise one of my all-time favorite Saturday Night Live skits, featuring Russell Putnam (Jack Black), an investigative reporter for High Times magazine, who uncovers governmental corruption but gets so stoned he has, well, a little trouble with focus.

Hollywood: as usual, I remind you that this great (i.e., stupid) plot concept is available for a surprisingly affordable price and, like all my brilliant plot concepts, can be purchased easily and quickly! Just contact me at didion [at] ymail [dot] com to start the exciting process of bringing this crowd-pleasing script to life onscreen!

10 Responses to “Pitch: the first female-oriented stoner comedy”

  1. Becky Says:

    I think this is brilliant!!! I volunteer at the library, and you are spot on about all the patrons and potential plot devices. These days we also have a lot of people who spend time applying for jobs on the library computers and updating resumes, so I think you could include those folks who are polar opposites of the tea party folks. There are also lots of retired people, so you might want to include elderly stoners from the 60’s. Oh, the possibilities! I can’t think of a more fertile public arena for a stoner movie. Didion, this is really an original and fabulous idea.

    • Didion Says:

      Hey, thanks, Becky! I do love libraries, and you’re so right about the role they play in helping people who don’t have computers/ internet connections at home.

      And I can’t tell you how much I love the narrative potential of elderly stoners. I’m going to start tweaking the script right now!

  2. JustMeMike Says:

    I’m pretty sure you’ve not seen it yet – but Robot and Frank which stars Frank Langella features Susan Sarandon as a librarian. I’m also pretty sure that this film won’t fit into your stoner niche, but it is a film filled with flights of fantasy just without the smoked herb.

    • Didion Says:

      Oooh! and who could be more perfect for a stoner comedy with librarians than Susan Sarandon? I’m going to get on the horn with her people right now.

  3. Becky Says:

    You know, it would probably be dangerous for us to get into a room together to discuss this. I was thinking, but did not say in the first comment, that Susan Sarandon would have to be cast in the movie. I watched White Palace again the other day, and her laugh and demeanor is perfect for a stoner movie. She should be cast as the older seductive librarian for the 60’s men. And then there’s Ann Margaret…………

    • Didion Says:

      Listen, honey, give us a room for a weekend and we could have this thing written and cast so quickly Hollywood wouldn’t know what hit it. I also sort of like the idea of having a few cameos by stoner film legends — I mean, couldn’t Susan Sarandon have a long-lasting idle flirtation with a patron, played by Cheech Marin, stemming from their shared love of house porn magazines? Or perhaps Kal Penn (aka Kumar) could make an appearance as an author of gay porn e-books like Fatal ASSociation and ASSpiring to Greatness who uses the library’s back table as his workstation?

  4. Becky Says:

    Oh, this just keeps getting better and better! How about Steve Buscemi as a homeless man who previously won a Pulitzer Prize, and Tommy Lee Jones as an uptight security guard who is in love with a librarian played by Sissy Spacek. I obviously have not given as much thought to the younger players, but you have more expertise in that area than I do. Although I do see Jesse Eisenberg as some sort of earnest scholar studying for his bar exam for the 3rd time.

  5. JE Says:

    It might be too overdone (everything to do with Sarah Palin is overdone, it seems), but there was that fantastic story of her as mayor trying to ban books at the library.

    There’s so much potential in this story, you just don’t know where to start.

    • Didion Says:

      That story was tailor-made for a great (i.e., stupid) Hollywood stoner movie. I can’t believe no one has used it yet.

  6. Lina Says:

    what about smiley face with anna faris?

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