Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Where We're From, Intro: Harold & Kumar

[scroll down for more in the "Where We're From" series]
I don't want to write too much about Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay because you might-should go see it, if you haven't already, and its humor is so simplistic that to say much about it is to give the fun away.
But--spoiler alert--I can't resist quoting my favorite line, delivered by Kumar. He is defending the American way of life against the slur that Americans just sit around eating donuts: "Fuck off, donuts are awesome!"

On the surface, the movie is far from subtle, but as you might guess from the title, its underlying questions are not so simplistic. Like: What does it mean to be an American? What unites us, and what divides us? And, where are we from?

These questions cut across classes in America. For instance, I bet most people who see art-house films won't see G-bay and vice-versa, but the actor who plays Kumar, Kal Penn (above, right, with John Cho as Harold), also plays Gogal in the The Namesake, a literary film that poses some of the same questions in a different light. Both characters are the American-born sons of Indian immigrants.

As a middle-aged American, many (most?) people I know can name at least one grandparent who came from another country.
Bink recently sent me a photo of her German-born grandfather, which I'll post, below.
A while back, I posted a photo of Maura's Lebanon-born grandmother, which I'm going to move here too. Maybe I could start a series. (Send me yours!)

2 comments:

Rudyinparis said...

I love, love, love that you saw this movie! We're hoping to go, but will probably not get around to it and then will see it on DVD. Lately we're lucky if we catch things in time at the dollar theater.

And so funny and true--not a lot of cross-pollination between the Harold & Kumar fans and the art house fans.

fresca said...

An advantage to watching this movie at home is you can sit on the couch with a dozen or two donuts while you watch it.
(Hmm, think of all the money movie theaters could make selling donuts to people who come to see this movie high...)