Super High Me

Super High Me
Made in: USA
Language: English
Director: Michael Blieden
Starring: Doug Benson, Brian Unger, Gary Cohan, Robert Gore
Year: 2007

Synopsis: Comedian and former "Stoner of the Year" Doug Benson comes up with an idea for a documentary, which is somewhat inspired by Morgan Spurlock's Supersize Me. And yes, Benson was stoned when he came up with the idea (if you must know).

Benson, a heavy pot user, plans to get high all day, every day for 30 days. But first, he will abstain from pot use for the same amount of time. As he embarks on this mildly scientific endeavor, he records his progress and subjects himself to several mental/physical tests. What will happen? Will there be any dramatic difference between him being high and being sober?

Doug travels the country doing his regular comedy gigs, and shares his experiences with audience members as well as other comedians.

Remarks: Super High Me is a pretty clever idea, and it was certainly generous of Doug Benson to devote so much time in this "experiment." Of course, the results shouldn't be taken too seriously and Benson makes that clear to the audience.

Much of the documentary also focuses on the issue of marijuana legalization. It's clear that Benson, the filmmakers, and others involved in the film favor legalization, and their arguments are sensible from legal and economic standpoints.

They also bring up the conflict between California State Law and Federal Law regarding marijuana, which definitely is a serious issue in regards to the Constitution.

To give a little background, California State Law allows the legal operation of medical marijuana dispensaries, and those who sell pot in the Golden State do so in compliance with the law (they are licensed, pay taxes, etc.) But since their existence is in violation of federal law, dispensaries in California often get raided by the DEA, which has many people up in arms.

This sort of shifts focus away from Benson's experiment, but it's difficult to conduct his "research" without raising the issue. Halfway through, I thought that making a documentary that explores and debates the issue of legalizing pot would have resulted in a much more engaging film.

So is Super High interesting? In some ways, I thought so. It's pretty well put-together, and there are definitely some good laughs. And personally, in the end, I thought Benson was funnier when he was stoned all the time.

Who would like this movie: Super High Me is for you if you're open-minded about the legalization of marijuana, enjoy stoner humor, and like watching stoned people go around doing silly things. If a casual attitude towards recreational drug use offends you, you're going to hate this movie.

All in all, it's an interesting experiment and an amusing 90 minutes. The end results aren't all that spectacular, but there's no way the filmmakers could have known that going in.

(3 out of 4 stars)

Review written by: Joe Yang

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