Friday, April 10, 2020

Top 20 Women and Weed Movies (Part 1)

It's somehow fitting that this April, when the whole month is 4/20, we should be forced into being couch potatoes while safely sheltering at home.

Here then, for your home viewing enjoyment, is the first installment in our Top 20 Women and Weed Movies, most of which are available on streaming services. Pass the munchees, and watch 'em stoned for maximum diversion.

#20. Lady Bird (2017)
The movie that won Greta Gerwig a scriptwriting Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination for best director depicts actresses Saoirse Ronan and Beanie Feldstein trying some "primo" and feeling the first effects, like getting the munchees and giggling joyously. Oh, and not feeling your arms. Seems the gals were subtly stoned on prom night too, leading to the line, "We ate all the cheese." Gerwig went on to direct Ronan in "Little Women," by and about Tokin' Woman Louisa May Alcott.
On Amazon Prime, Vudu, YouTube and Google Play. 

#19. The Family Stone (2005) 
Sarah Jessica Parker plays an uptight perfectionist who travels with her fiancé to meet his family at Christmas and loosens up with the help of the holy herb and her boyfriend's brother, played by Luke Wilson (ever the appealing stoner). Diane Keaton plays the cancer-stricken family matriarch who takes "special" medicinal brownies. SJP also toked on TV's "Sex in the City" and is one of the few actress who can actually play "stoned" (not drunk or stupid; more giggly and aware).
On Hulu (subscription); rentable on other services.

#18. How to Make an American Quilt (1995)
Anne Bancroft, Ellen Burstyn and Winona Ryder share an intergenerational joint on the front porch in this film, where Ryder's character comes home to write a dissertation on quilting while she ponders a marriage proposal. A rare appearance by Maya Angelou as the master quilter is a treat; Lady Jean Simmons also appears. From the book by Whitney Otto, based in a town called Grass, California.

#17. Being John Malkovich (1999)
Catherine Keener rolls a joint for her admirers Cameron Diaz and John Cusak in this audacious comedy that intriguingly explores the nature of consciousness, who controls it, and what it takes to break out of the confining mundaneness of life. I think my favorite moment is when it's revealed why a chimpanzee has post-traumatic stress. "You don't know how lucky you are being a monkey," Cusak tells him. "Because consciousness is a terrible curse."
On Hulu (subscription); rentable on other services. 


#16. Life of Crime (2014)
Jennifer Aniston stars as a society wife kidnapped by a couple of pot-smoking Detroit hoods in this Elmore Leonard film. Aided by a supporting cast starting with her heinous husband (Tim Robbins) and his scheming girlfriend (Isla Fisher, who played Mary Jane in the Scooby Doo movie and Myrtle in The Great Gatsby), Aniston has a little fun as a hostage laughing at the classic "Sanford and Son" scene involving marijuana. In the film, as so often in life, smoking a little weed leads to a woman looking at the world in a different, better way.
On Hulu (subscription); rentable on other services. 

#15. Finding Your Feet (2017)
This charming British film stars Imelda Stanton as solid senior citizen Saundra who moves in with her Bohemian sister Bif (Celia Imrie) after leaving her cheating husband. She soon joins a dance troupe and re-discovers life, love, and marijuana. "I'm not like you, Bif," Saundra protests. "I just can't open up like a lotus flower." With the aid of a little weed, she finds her footing and begins to flower herself.
On Hulu (subscription); rentable on other services. 

#14. The Time of Our Lives (2017)
Pauline Collins (Shirley Valentine) plays Priscilla, a pensioner housewife out on an adventure with Joan Collins, in a tour-de-force performance as a faded movie star. Priscilla ends up smoking a joint "for her arthritis" with Franco Nero; both actors were 76 years old when they played the scene. Collins (Pauline, not Joan) also appeared in 2016's Dough wherein a bakery business suddenly becomes popular when it starts adding weed to its recipes.

#13. The Women (2008)
In this remake of a Clare Booth Luce–penned movie, Meg Ryan plays a cheated-on wife who goes on a retreat where she puffs pot proffered by a shamanesque Bette Midler, and subsequently finds her way to her own bliss. You'll have to go to the deleted scenes on the DVD to hear Ryan saying, "I'm really stoned." The all-female, star-studded cast includes Candice Bergen (who was the first medical marijuana patient on TV in "Murphy Brown"). Midler also inhales onscreen as Mel Gibson’s psychotherapist in What Women Want (2000), although the scene is sometimes cut when the movie airs on TV.

#12. Ocean's 8 (2018)
Rihanna smokes in more ways than one playing a Rasta computer hacker on the female A-list, multiethnic jewel-robbing team (Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kalig, Awkwafina, Sarah Paulson, Helena Bonham-Carter, Anne Hathaway) working to pull off a daring and intricate caper. It just goes to show you that girls can do whatever the boys do, even (or especially) when we're stoned.

#11. I Love You Alice B. Toklas (1968)
Breakthrough for its time, this Paul Mazursky film is really more of a male fantasy about a middle-aged man (Peter Sellers) who takes a walk on the wild weed side with Leigh Taylor-Young, who is luminous in her debut role as the hippie baker of brownies. Actresses Jo Van Fleet and Joyce Van Patten inadvertently get in on the brownie action, and this trailer is priceless. Mazursky brought out Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice the following year, where Natalie Wood and Dyan Cannon partake (with no perceivable effects).

Also see: Top Women and Weed Movies #1 through 10, and some Honorable Mentions too.

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