DVD Review: Smiley Face

Jane F, an unsuccessful slacker actress, is having a bad day. And it’s getting more outrageous and comically surreal by the minute. SMILEY FACE is a freewheeling, cinematically stylized AFTER HOURS for the new millennium. Jane’s misadventures begin when she treats herself to a batch of cupcakes left unattended by her psycho roommate (Danny Masterson) that prove not as innocent as they appear. Soon, she is trying to cross town so she can repay an unforgiving drug dealer (Adam Brody), attend an audition, and somehow replace the precious cupcakes. Bumming a ride from her roommate’s friend (John Krasinski) – who is totally infatuated with her – she sets out on a long, strange trip. And when the original manuscript of the Communist Manifesto falls into her hands, things really get out of control. Sit back and enjoy the wild journey as Jane’s effort to get through her day proves an arduous task of epic proportions (like Sisyphus struggling with the biggest, craziest boulder ever.)

I wasn’t very impressed with this film. I think perhaps I went into it with expectations that were a bit too high. I’m a huge fan of Jon Krasinski, Adam Brody, Danny Masterson, and Anna Faris, so I figured this had to be pretty good. I was wrong.

The story follows Jane, played by Anna Faris, a girl who gets high one morning, gets the munchies, and then eats her roommate’s cupcakes, which also contain pot. Thus our main character gets tremendously stoned and then ventures out into the world to make amends and run the errands that she previously had scheduled.

The description for the film compares it to Scorsese’s After Hours which I think it is a pretty far stretch. While After Hours does tell the tale of Griffin Dunne, a guy who everything gets progressively worse for, that’s pretty much the only similarity that could be used for a vague comparison.

While Smiley Face did have its moments of entertainment, I found it more or less depressing that so many bad things were happening to this girl due to the horrible choices that she had made that morning. I should note that I don’t think I’ve actually seen what one would dub a “stoner film” that I’ve actually enjoyed, so perhaps I’m a bit bias. But simply put, this one didn’t do it for me.

Review by Emma Loggins

Grade: C
Buy on Amazon: Smiley Face


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