Dazed and Confused

Director: Richard Linklater
Year Released: 1993
Rating: 2.5

I recall seeing this around the time I was in high school with friends - they loved it, but I strongly disliked it (at the time), so I thought now (so many years later) would be a good time to revisit it. While I'm proud to say it no longer disgusts me - clearly Linklater has some sympathy for these idiot kids, not judging them but rather admiring them for their vigor and defiance (to paraphrase Basquiat, they're redeemable because they're young) - I still can't say it amounts to much as a movie: even as paean to Lucas' far superior American Graffiti (which this could be seen as an 'update' to), it only briefly touches on the characters' personalities (compare/contrast to the level of detail in the short-lived but remarkable Freaks & Geeks TV show). To its credit, there are still plenty of humorous moments (Ben Affleck channeling his homoeroticism through punishment, Matthew McConaughey channeling his hebephilia through, um, Giovanni Ribisi's sister) and it is in my viewpoint an accurate reflection of what most teens did/will do when they're bored. It doesn't help matters much that I actually know a lot of stoners (because of my day-job, naturally) and find their laziness a little upsetting, but what the hell: smoke 'em if you got 'em, teens (just make sure it's not in any classroom I'm in).