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Sundance, day four: Contact high

Posted by Wesley Morris  January 22, 2007 07:16 AM

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So last night I saw Gregg Araki’s new movie “Smiley Face,” which has the very funny Anna Faris being severely stoned for 90 minutes and was written by a programmer for Slamdance, which is the bizarro Sundance (it goes on simultaneously on Main Street). After Araki’s “Mysterious Skin,” “Smiley Face” is not exactly an artistic advance. It’s a vacation from pushing himself too hard. Still, I laughed for most it, but the minute it was over I was dumb, too. In order to leave the theater, I had to climb over Araki, to whom I mumbled something about enjoying the movie, but I must have mumbled it very loudly since he winced when I spoke.

A second later, when someone pushed me in front of Faris, who was standing at the back of the theater, I meant to say, “I think you’re fantastic, like Goldie Hawn fantastic. You should have an even bigger career and win lots of awards!” Instead, I said something like, “Byjs eeksg mbiesf dfs fspsd uyenq!” But being the consummate professional she is, Faris took my hand and said, “Oh my God, that is so nice!”

Ten seconds later, I was stumbling past the volunteers handing out cupcakes (you’ll have to see the film to appreciate why) and out of the theater. Why was my head was freezing? Oh, I forgot my hat. I trudged back inside, past the cupcake people who kept pushing them on me (it was one in the morning, and they weren’t that good) and back into the theater where Araki, Faris, and the rest of the cast and crew were now doing the Q & A. I crawled over some people to my seat – or what I thought was my seat. Apparently, I was sitting two rows up. There was my hat, and, dude, my press badge! And my notepad?

Outside, I waited for a shuttle to take me home. I held my badge and my notepad and another cupcake, and wondered how I got here. I felt heavy and silly and sleepy. Araki’s movie isn’t bad, but the contact high is awful.

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Ty Burr is a film critic with The Boston Globe.

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