SXSW Movie Review: Super High Me

I had quickly written this film off as just a novelty, with no indication of any serious substance. Well I was right, nothing serious about this one. Its a good thing, because it would have been a shame if one of the funniest films of the year had even tried to take itself seriously.

Stand-up comedian Doug Benson embarks on a Morgan Spurlock-esque ride that will determine what it would be like to get high, day and night, for thirty days. What will this prove? Probably nothing, but it will be really funny to watch. In the tradition of the documentary Super Size Me, Super High Me showcases Benson’s body being put to the test. Benson challenges himself, as an avid pot smoker, to remain sober for thirty days. During the first month he will undergo tests like memorization exams, psychic ability, weight gain/loss, I.Q. and lung capacity.

Following Benson through the first stage of his test is hilarious. He performs stand-up throughout the film, letting his audience know about the film and its plot. You can tell that remaining sober is a struggle for Benson, but he succeeds nonetheless. The film also delves into the legality of smoking marijuana. Benson is a resident of California, and can legally medicate with the use of marijuana. The medicinal marijuana can be attained from legal “dispensaries” throughout the state. These dispensaries have been multiplying exponentially from year to year. Benson goes and buys his “medication’ for the next thirty days of his test.

Benson spends the next thirty days getting high, over and over again. After taking the same tests he did while sober, the results were pretty hilarious. The film is filled with cameos from other comedians, and the overal tone of the film is very light and funny. This is without a doubt the funniest documentary of the festival. For the hardcore documentary fans though, come and expect less documentary style methodology and more footage of what is to be expected from a guy getting super high for thirty days. Super High Me is super funny, and I will certainly end up wanting to see this one again and again.

Grade: B

Super High Me is being distributed by Netflix. It made its world premiere at the Woodstock Film Festival in 2007 and its regional premiere at SXSW on March 7, 2008.

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