Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle

August 12, 2005

I didn’t think that I would ever see a more incongruous act than Doogie Howser, M.D. doing a fatality on an evil henchman, but I’d have to say that Doogie Howser snorting coke off a girl’s bum, while hanging out of the sun roof of a moving car, takes the cake.

Far be it from me to define a movie by its cameos, but there you have it. A movie’s hilarity may well be directly proportional to the outrageousness of said movie’s cameo by Neil Patrick Harris. I think I’ll call it the Doogie Theorem.

Time for the inevitable comparison and contrast to Dude, Where’s My Car?. Yeah, they’re definitely buddy quest movies about potheads, but the similarities mostly end there. Whereas Jesse and Chester are total idiots and stereotypical potheads, Harold and Kumar are cut from a different cloth entirely. Both are college graduates – Harold is gainfully employed as an investment banker and Kumar is, although not willingly, in the process of selecting a medical school. Although the story structure and pacing are similar, their accomplishments are at the opposite ends of the spectrum. While Harold and and Kumar grow as individuals once they achieve their goal of White Castle burgers, Jesse and Chester merely achieve bigger breasts for their girlfriends upon finding their car.

The only part of the film that I thought was flat-out stupid was the cheetah riding. Everything up to that point was kosher – Battleshits, Freakshow’s horny wife, even the escape from jail – but the cheetah ride was a bit much. I don’t know why, cheetah riding just rubs me the wrong way?

There are areas of my brain filled with knowledge that I didn’t even know was there. For instance, did you know that I know all the words to Wilson Philip’s Hold On? I didn’t know either until Harold and Kumar started singing it and I found myself singing along in my head. At least I had enough presence of mind not to do in front of my friends. That would have been very un-knobby-like behavior!

Since I live in the south, we don’t have White Castle here, but I have it on good authority that those tiny little burgers are pretty nasty. Now, the grocery store carries a frozen version – but seriously? Who would eat that? In any case, back in college, I remember finding myself on epic quests like Harold and Kumar’s on a regular basis. One memorable trip was in search of a chinese joint called Fang Ti, which supposedly had “moonlight buffet til four AM.” Riiiight. We never did find it, but apparently, it does exist. Heh.


Year – 2004
Rating – R
Runtime – 88 minutes
Genre – Stoners, Buddy Movie
Director(s) – Danny Leiner
Writer(s) – Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
Actor(s) – John Cho, Kal Penn, Neil Patrick Harris, David Krumholtz, Eddie Kaye Thomas
BOB Rating – Three BOBs
Favorite Quote – "Daddy is not coming on anything!" - Dr. Patel (Errol Sitahal)