I suppose it took some
nerve on Anna Faris' part to take on the role of Jane -- a blonde California
wannabe actress who is completely stoned out of her mind throughout the
running time of Smiley Face. In fact she seems to be having
some real fun with the role.
Wish I could say the same
for the audience.
Smiley Face is a
reminder, if any is really needed, that people who are fucked up can be fun
to be around for a little while, but eventually get to be a bit of a pain in
The film just surveys a day
in the life of Jane. After toking up at like 10 in the morning, she
gets a horrific case of the munchies and scarfs down all of her crazy
roommate's cupcakes. Problem is, they were apparently pot cupcakes, so
she is now completely stoned out of her head. Now she has to score
some more pot to make new cupcakes, get to an audition and pay the
electrical bill before it is turned off.
Of course, now Jane is
slow, paranoid, hungry, broke and spending way too much time looking at a
lava lamp. Is it possible for her to cover all of the things she needs
Of course it isn't.
She's a mess and Smiley Face is really about watching her melt down
as all her plans fail miserably.
The point is made in the
first ten minutes. Then the movie goes on for another 78, occasionally
amusing but mostly embarrassing for the actors and the audience.
There really can be some
funny things -- like when Jane gets into a debate about Reaganomics with her
dealer and explained that she was an economics major in college, but became
an actress because economics didn't work out for her. However, these
moments are too few and far between.
There is a surprisingly
large group of well-known actors here who check in with little cameos --
John Krasinski of The Office as a nerd who has a crush on Jane, Danny
Masterson of That 70s Show as her psycho roommate, Adam Brody of
The OC as her dreadlocked dealer, Jane Lynch as a
law-enforcement-obsessed casting director, John Cho as a worker at a
slaughterhouse, Marion Ross of Happy Days as the mother of a
professor. Even Carrot Top just happens to be walking by at Venice
Beach. I'm not sure why, exactly, all these people felt the need to
join in -- very few of them have anything of any significance to do.
We are supposed to
sympathize with Jane -- I think -- because her massive stonedness was not
completely her fault. Yet it doesn't really work. The more we
watch Jane, the more we believe she deserves all the shit she gets herself
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2007 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.
Posted: December 25, 2007.