With the possible exception of “Harold and Kumar: Escape from Guantanamo Bay,” never has a movie about potheads acting like potheads drawn as much serious consideration from critics as “Pineapple Express.” It turns out, though, that this latest release from the brain trust of Judd Apatow and company — producers of such comedic hits as “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Knocked Up” and “Superbad” — didn’t deserve any of that attention. Lame, juvenile and often utterly incomprehensible, “Pineapple Express” should serve as a warning of what happens when we give any filmmaker more credit than he deserves.
We as critics or fans often get caught up in supposed depth in films that would mystify even the creators of those films. “Knocked Up” might be the perfect example of a movie whose gigantic flaws were overlooked for such fallacies. For example, few, if any, critics have questioned the unflattering depictions of women in Apatow’s productions, chief among them Katherine Heigl’s airheaded embrace of Rogen (again a loser/stoner) in “Knocked Up.”
This trend continues in "Pineapple Express" with the ludicrous romance of Rogen and a high school girl (who is completely indifferent to the fact that he might get her whole family killed). It seems that every lead female character in these films either has serious self-image issues or has never been in the company of a sober male. That might be a line to follow when writing about the next Apatow production, but it seems too many of us are busy fawning over nonexistent undertones.