Super High Me



Screen Media Films/Red Envelope Entertainment

Along with "The Aristocrats," this documentary counts as one of the few films inspired by a joke. A marijuana-themed takeoff on Morgan Spurlock's similarly titled exploration of the effects of 30 days of eating McDonald's, "Super High Me" features comedian Doug Benson expanding a bit from his stand-up act to strained results.

Directed by Michael Blieden, the film explores what happens when Benson, a regular pot smoker in real life, first eschews the habit for 30 days and then spends the next month making up for it by being continually stoned.

During his period of abstaining, he takes a series of tests, ranging from the SAT to measures of his blood pressure and sperm count to one registering his psychic ability. Then, after judiciously receiving a medical marijuana prescription from a California doctor, he proceeds to spend the next month gloriously high, with the tests repeated at the end of that period. "It makes everything more fun" is his response when asked what he likes about being high.

Unlike Spurlock's documentary, which at least purported to be a serious depiction of the ill effects suffered by its human guinea pig, "Super High Me" mainly is an excuse for a series of comic riffs from its undeniably amusing subject who apparently is a favorite among the stoner crowd. The film also includes appearances by numerous fellow comedians with whom he comes into contact, including such notables as Sarah Silverman, Patton Oswalt, Bob Odenkirk and Brian Posehn.

Adding some thematic heft to the proceedings is a superficial examination of the controversial issue of medical marijuana and the conflicts that occur between the state of California, where it is legal, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, which enforces federal law.

As it turns out, Benson experiences few negative ramifications as a result of his experiment, except for a few math skills temporarily lost and a few pounds temporarily gained. Needless to say, this will serve as a welcome positive reinforcement to the many stoners who will comprise the film's primary audience.