- Actors: Alexandra Daddario, Josh Brener, Al Sapienza
- Director: Rory Rooney
- Format: Dolby, NTSC, THX, Widescreen
- Language: English
- Subtitles: English
- Number of discs: 1
- Rated: Not Rated
- Studio: Well Go USA
- Release Date: November 29, 2016
- Run Time: 85 minutes
For a film that is trying as hard as it is to appeal to the hipster crowd, Baked in Brooklyn is remarkably outdated. And even if it weren’t too late to jump on the overcrowded bandwagon filled with films and TV shows about marijuana, Baked in Brooklyn isn’t really about marijuana at all. Even worse, it isn’t very good. While too disconnected from real life to effectively carry out any of the dramatic elements, it is an even bigger crime that a film being sold as a stoner comedy has absolutely no humor.
From the very start of this film, I smelled bullshit. The protagonist is a neurotic 20-something Jewish kid named David (Josh Brener), who has two longtime friends as his roommate; one is black while the other is gay. I am all for diversity in casting, but the pairing of these three sounds like the beginning of a bad joke. It is about as fittingly on-the-nose as every element of Baked in Brooklyn, almost as if the filmmakers were unfamiliar with the concept of subtlety as a whole. The entire film is framed through a reading of the story to a group of captivated listeners in a book store, immediately giving the impression that crime does indeed pay, while lazily carrying the narrative forward.
We are forced to hear David recount his unrealistic story about selling marijuana through the internet, but first we are required to endure the beginning of a romantic relationship with a girl completely out of his league. David meets Kate (Alexandra Daddario) at a party when she approaches him. Despite his awkwardness and her longtime boyfriend who resembles a Ken doll, Kate ends up making out with David by the end of their first night meeting. As if this weren’t already a geek fantasy of major proportions, she inevitably ends up leaving her boyfriend for him after a brief montage of them being ‘just friends.’
This is before David even begins selling drugs, which is when the film gets really silly. Beyond the unbelievable elements of the film, Baked in Brooklyn is a poor excuse for a movie about marijuana, especially since we don’t really see anyone smoke. The movie is all about David’s dedication to have a solid work ethic while selling drugs, along with his own addiction to prescription pills. David doesn’t even smoke marijuana, and the film seems to have very little interest in the drug beyond the fact that it is illegal in New York. And worse yet, the film doesn’t seem to have an opinion about David’s pill-popping habits either, as this is a storyline never addressed by the conclusion of the narrative, despite the damage it inevitably causes.
This film is obnoxious, but some of the fault doesn’t land on the filmmakers. They made a drug movie that doesn’t cater to those who are taking them, nor does it criticize the practice of relying on them. It doesn’t seem to have much of any opinion about anything other than the attractiveness of Daddario and David’s stupidity for letting her slip away. The remaining blame lands on the marketing department, who clearly tried to sell this film as something it was not. Even the cover photo on the Blu-ray has edited in some shitty fake smoke, made to look like Brener is exhaling it, despite the fact that his character never smokes in the movie and clearly isn’t doing so in the photo.
Entertainment Value: 4/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 3.5/10
Historical Significance: 3/10
Special Features: 0/10