Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Stuck on "Stuck in Love"

Another gem discovered on Netflix: Stuck in Love, the 2012 debut by writer/director Josh Boone, starring Greg Kinnear and Jennifer Connelly as parents in a literary family that exchanges John Cheever books and Raymond Carver quotes as they navigate their own emotions.

Nat Wolff plays Rusty, the sensitive student who, when forced to read a poem he wrote called "High School" before his class, declares "it was written under the influence of cannabis":

In the sea of desks 
There's talk of bags and games
and long pipes that leak dreams
with the strike of a match
and there's a loudness to the whispers I hear.... 

When Rusty is accused of being stoned at Thanksgiving dinner, his mother takes him into the kitchen for a heart-to-heart where she tells him, "Pot, and nothing else, ever." When he says, "You don't have to worry about me," she correctly replies, "Yes, I do. It's my job." It's the most intelligent mother-son discussion about weed since Lily Tomlin's in 9-5.

Rusty bribes his way into a cool kids' party with a bag of weed, where he's possibly saved from hard drugs by his mother's admonishment.  His sister Samantha (Lily Collins) is much more self-destructive with her drug of choice (meaningless sex, the theory of which she tempers after sneaking out to the roof to share a bowl her brother). Rusty's smoking is woven seamlessly into the story, with his father only reigning him in when he's partying (with alcohol) nightly.

Stephen King, who once declared pot should be legal so that Maine could benefit from a legal cottage industry, figures in the plot.











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