‘Newlyweeds,’ Both An Ode And Cautionary Tale About The Joys And Pitfalls Of Pot-Smoking

NEW YORK:“Newlyweeds” isn’t for everyone. A film billed as a cool stoner dramedy, it arrives wrapped in a haze of marijuana smoke, as much a tribute to getting “wild blazed” as it is a cautionary tale about the wages of addiction. Rough around the edges, its schematic plot often awkwardly obvious, this fish-nor-fowl hybrid may be too morally serious to qualify as a bona fide Midnight Movie cult hit, and too inside-dope to appeal to anyone who isn’t well versed (if not thoroughly immersed) in pot culture.

The audience “Newlyweeds” will appeal to most is film buffs who are always on the lookout for bright young things — because this movie has them. The wispy premise of “Newlyweeds,” written and directed by Shaka King, is kept afloat by its attractive, youthfully vital cast (along with some well-timed comic relief by way of some familiar faces).

Amari Cheatom plays Lyle, a Brooklyn repo man living with his gorgeous, cosmopolitan girlfriend, Nina (newcomer Trae Harris), and spending his days casing his clients, taking back appliances they haven’t paid for, then retiring for a quiet evening smoking up and letting go.

It’s a mellow existence, but Nina — who punctuates her days as a museum docent with a steady stream of furtive tokes — wants more. “Newlyweeds” follows Lyle and Nina as their partying pastime takes turns into the wasted, paranoid and criminal, never getting too heavy, often achieving antic hilarity, but never entirely taking its focus from how the recreational can turn debilitatingly toxic.

 

 

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