Last night- well technically, Friday night because it’s 2am on a Sunday- a few friends and I saw the film Dope, which was spectacular. The Rick Famuyiwa film is a coming-of-age story set in Inglewood, California about a trio of college bound high school geeks who get involved in a plethora of crazy shit after deciding to go to a drug dealer’s birthday party.
The cast is spectacular, the storyline is part comedy, part drama, and part romance, with a really good message about being yourself and is as if Pharrell Williams, Superbad, House Party, Breaking Bad, The Wood, Spike Lee, and John Hughes had a baby. And yet, it is still a vibrant, original film that stands on its own. I haven’t enjoyed a film on this level since Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World and it’s up there with my favorite teen comedies (Superbad, Scott Pilgrim, 16 Candles, Heathers, Napoleon Dynamite, ATL, etc.)
It’s relatable to me on a personal level. I never was heavily influenced by one sub-culture (in the case of Malcolm played by Shameik Moore, it’s 90s hip hop fashion and music) but skate culture, 90s punk, 60s fashion, anime, manga 80s punk,90s hip hop, and 60s rock are part of the components that make me. And I appreciate that film went beyond just having the geek character and making his character (and actually every character in the film) more complex and giving a social background to the comedy, drama, and character development. I’m grateful for films like this because showcasing non-stereotypical characters and being inventive in film not just for the social commentary, but for the inventiveness. For the most part, I don’t like calling my work fan art for purely arrogant reasons, but this is a fan art. I wholeheartedly support this film and despite being broke, I’m going to take more friends to go see this.
Go see Dope in theaters.