Dazed and Confused is the ultimate coming-of-age stoner comedy. Directed by Richard Linklater, this movie served as the stepping stone for many of today’s famous actors. The list includes Jason London, Anthony Rapp, Milla Jovovich, Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, Renee Zellweger, and Adam Goldberg. Although not a major hit at the box office, Dazed and Confused became a cult classic in the years following its release, enjoying attention from stoners and non-stoners alike.
It’s May 1976, the last day of high school for a group of small-town Texans. Linklater takes his time and establishes the mood of this all-important day: kids are cutting class, smoking weed, hazing incoming freshman, and getting excited for the end-of-the-year keg party at the town’s “Moon Tower”. The movies jumps back and forth between many characters — from bullied freshman Mitch Kramer (Wiley Wiggins) to the nerdy whinings of Mike Newhouse (Goldberg) to Wooderson’s (McConaughey) creepy love for high school girls. For the most part, the film focuses on football star Randall “Pink” Floyd’s reluctance to sign his coach’s pledge for the summer: in order to keep them in tip-top shape for their upcoming championship season, no player is allowed to drink or do drugs of any kind. These thoughts and challenges continue as day slowly becomes night and the keg party begins in earnest. Although the party takes an ugly turn, each student’s perspective changes in a meaningful way, giving them new hopes and fears for the upcoming year.
Joey Lauren Adams