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A Your Highness–Inspired List of Five Other Unlikely Genres That Could Use a Stoner Comedy

Photo: Mary-Louise Price; Photos: 20th Century Fox; Getty Images
“Put Black Sunday on!” Photo: Mary-Louise Price; Photos: 20th Century Fox; Getty Images

Your Highness, a medieval fantasy/stoner comedy mash-up in theaters today, is the kind of concept you wholeheartedly doubt until you see someone pull it off (and, yes, David Gordon Green and Danny McBride pulled it off! Find your joy, haters). It’s got Vulture thinking: What other unlikely genres might benefit from a nice fat injection of weed humor? We’re talking really unlikely, though; something like “time-travel adventure” or “sci-fi blockbuster” almost seem too easy to tweak with pot jokes and smoking sessions. For which genres would a stoner comedy be a groundbreaking — dare we say, revolutionary — accomplishment? Vulture stayed up all night drinking green tea and eating Cookie Crisp, and came up with the following five possibilities.

Israeli-Palestinian-Conflict Drama
Julian Schnabel, whose new movie Miral is catching heat for being allegedly anti-Israel, explains it’s really about open communication channels: “Understanding is part of the Jewish way … if we don’t listen to the other side, we can never have peace.” Is this not the underlying motivation behind every buddy comedy? Is not every stoner comedy a buddy comedy? Did we just get from Israeli-Palestinian conflict drama to stoner comedy in three painless steps?!!! Picture it: two dudes, one Palestinian and one Israeli, who love their people — almost as much as they love sweet, sweet ganja. The illegal Middle Eastern drug trade brings them together; they bring back the basic structural agreements of the Oslo Accords. Look, we’ve already got the tagline: “Seeds of piece. But no seeds in their weed.”

Sexual Thriller
Marijuana — with its associations to unbathed hippies and overeating — is, indubitably, the least sexy of the recreational drugs. (The most sexy? Pre-ban Four Loko.) But that would be the challenge for the filmmaker brave enough: Can some kind of heated, potentially murderous love triangle blossom from a bunch of people who have spent a significant part of their lives laughing too hard at Cathy strips? The climactic seduction could take place during a casual Mario Kart marathon.

Terrorism Thriller

No Islamic extremism here: The movie would revolve around misguided but ultimately well-intentioned ecoterrorists, or maybe gold-standard fanatics or a Club of Rome splinter group or something. The point is, they wouldn’t be so far gone as to be irredeemable. And that redemption comes when the bandits kidnap a prominent senator’s feckless weed-fiend son, who finds some life purpose at the most opportune time. While the moralist kidnappers sweat out the wait for their demands to be met, our drug-addled hero, who always keeps a secret stash in his socks, manages to single-handedly talk his abductors off their path of violence and destruction — by getting them high as balls, of course.

Pixar Kid’s Movie
Ten years ago this would have been inconceivable. But in 2011 — with large swaths of the country basically treating marijuana as quasi-legal and its pain-relief applications continually finding greater validity in the medical community — the stigma around weed has dissipated. Also (in the paraphrased wording of classic web video Snapple Cap Facts), the kids are gonna find out about drugs sooner or later. Wouldn’t it be best if an adorable toy, or an adorable monster, or an adorable car, or some other unrealistically adorable animate character explained the particulars to them? Besides, Pixar’s movies are all about loyalty and friendship, and weed is great for being nice to people that you don’t actually like that much.

Romantic Comedy
As The New Yorker’s excellent Anna Faris feature pointed out, women in comedy aren’t allowed to be druggy slacker heroes. (Faris did pull off a pretty genius take on the archetype in Smiley Face, but nobody saw that movie.) You know what would really shake up the paradigm? If fun-bereft rom-com queen Katherine Heigl got blazed on the big screen. It’s making us sad just typing this, but we could totally see her playing the straightlaced accountant for a brash-but-kindhearted rapper who turns her on to love, and also to where in Brooklyn to cop the best Purple Haze. The sight of Heigl, at the end of the movie, preparing a blunt by splitting a Dutch Masters cigar in half — only to find a diamond ring inside — might just make all the young pothead ladies cry.

A Your Highness–Inspired List of Five Other Unlikely Genres That Could Use a Stoner Comedy