"I'll give you a hint: it's semen." - Burger Shack Employee
A film in the stoner comedy genre, starring John Cho and Kal Penn as Harold and Kumar. The film centers around two college grads who get high one night and decide that they must go to White Castle, the only thing that will completely satisfy their munchies. Their path is fraught with diversion, from their trip to Princeton to get weed, to their attempt to get their car back from Neil Patrick Harris.
The plot, which is sketchy in some places, is less important than the racial subtext, which goes from delicately subtle, to slightly didactic. Its main point is the description of a country where minorities, forcibly segregated by the majority, are only granted provisional citizenship status. They are only allowed to exist when the majority needs them for some purpose.
For instance, the Indian convenience store clerk. As the extreme sports dickwads (that's a technical term) are trashing his store, Harold asks him for directions. He doesn't seem to understand English, until Kumar speaks to him in Hindi. This man, so used to people demanding things from him, treating him like a servant or a slave (something they would never do to another member of their own race), now segregates himself.
In the beginning of the film, Harold, an investment banker, is forced to complete his boss's work so that his boss can have a wild night of debauchery. The subtext being that Asians live simply to make life easy for those around them. Their needs are secondary in importance. They also love math. A lot.
It is a breath of fresh air that this movie's two lead characters are portrayed by Asian-Americans. No one knows a martial art, or an ancient healing technique, and neither of them are computer experts. It isn't a foreign film
, or a culture
film, put out by a major studio to catch a percentage of their demographic
"By buying a ticket to 'Harold and Kumar go to White Castle', you aren't just gonna get to see a really funny movie
with two dudes who look like you. Nope. You're also going to be saying to media outlets, 'I support accurate
representation of Asian Americans and would like to see more.'" - Kal Penn and John Cho
While the gay humor can be a bit much at times, it's never anything overly cruel or stereotypical, and nowhere near as blatant as the bend and snap from Legally Blonde. Overall a sometimes crude, but entertaining, film that appeals to the sensibilities of adolescent males, and chronic drug users.
And it's a whole hell of a lot better than Dude, where's my car?