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[Short Reviews]

HOW HIGH

The latest in gangsta-rap stoner comedies, How High uses smoking weed as an excuse to get clever and absurd, not as a joke in itself. The fish-out-of-water plot is the same as Legally Blondeís, with the exception that Reese Witherspoon never smoked her dead friendís ashes to resurrect said dead friend as a ghost so that he could feed her answers on exams.

When Method Man and Redman (both of the Wu-Tang Clan) enroll at Harvard, they inevitably come up against the snooty crew captain, the black dean who resents their "blackness," and a slew of uptight undergrads just begging to inhale. Itís also a given that one of our heroes must be, underneath all that magical marijuana, a true genius and a gentleman. But first-time director Jesse Dylan (son of Bob) takes the movie higher by turning it into a lightly satirical cartoon. In one scene, Method Man and Redman are visited by recruiters from Reparations University, where students "learn to hate the white devil in a relaxed, casual atmosphere"; in another, they sleep with two Harvard virgins who go on to star in Smart Girls Gone Bad. Okay, so itís not for everyone, and some of the farting and projectile vomiting could go, but, overall, Cheech & Chong would be proud. Fred Willard, Jeffrey Jones and Spalding Gray (yep, that Spalding Gray) also star.

BY MARK BAZER

Issue Date: December 20 - 27, 2001

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