In a stoner-worthy act of “What was I thinking?,” indie distributor First Look Studios financed writer Dylan Haggerty and director Gregg Araki’s uproarious pothead comedy Smiley Face, only to end up dumping the finished movie (which has screened to great acclaim at the Sundance and Cannes film festivals) into a single Los Angeles theater this weekend en route to DVD. No matter: The movie is as funny as anything released this year or last, and with any luck will live on in Netflix queues for decades to come. In a screwball tour-de-force — which anyone who watched her give Chloris Leachman a sponge bath in Scary Movie 4 will know she is more than capable of giving — Anna Faris stars as the thoroughly baked bit-part actress Jane F, who has until 3 p.m. to repay the Venice drug dealer (Adam Brody) who has generously fronted her the weed she needs in order to bake up a new batch of the pot cupcakes she illicitly swiped from her sci-fi-geek roommate and consumed in a fit of (what else?) pot-fueled munchies. Got all that? Well, it’s just the start of Jane F’s epic Los Angeles odyssey, during which she flees from Nazi-ish casting agents (Jane Lynch and Jim Rash), prevails on the kindness of lovelorn friends (The Office star John Krasinski), stows away in the back of a meat delivery truck (driven by Danny Trejo and John Cho) and somehow ends up stuck in a Ferris wheel in conversation with her own inner thoughts (voiced by narrator Roscoe Lee Browne). All the while, Araki has a grand old time distorting sound and image so as to show us the world through Jane F’s THC-laced eyes. It’s a blast. (Nuart)

—Scott Foundas

LA Weekly