After writing their infamous tandem re-view of Eurotrip, Kate Gorman and Joe Horton are back for more. This time, it’s a trip through Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, during which they muse on the evolution of drug comedies, taste-test White Castle’s brand-new Chicken Waffle Sandwich, and discover the American Dream.
Kate: Hello, All!
Joe: Hello. So here’s the story – We’ve been fans of Harold and Kumar for a long time. Kate says she’s seen it ten times.
Kate: I think that’s probably accurate
Joe: And we have a White Castle near us. So that qualifies us to review this film. These are the requirements for being a reviewer: 1) Have you seen it? 2) Are you in jail currently? 3) Do you live near a White Castle? 4) How many laserdiscs do you own?
Kate: We went to White Castle this evening to pick up some dinner, so we’ll be eating those tiny sliders at various moments and might comment on that. We’ll obviously save one for the end. Side note: The lady at White Castle had no teeth, and she told an amazing story about how people spill drinks in their cars and how she feels bad about it.
Joe: Yeah. NO teeth.
Kate: She was AMAZING.
Joe: Also she made us wait because she is the only person working there. Kate, what is that great line from Inside Amy Schumer? “Somebody emptied their butt in the bathroom.” This toothless woman would have to clean that too. She was in charge of the whole store and I applaud her.
Kate: Yeah, that poor woman has to do everything and she still has a smile. The other amazing thing about this is that I only started eating red meat a few years ago, so I have been missing the true experience of watching this movie and eating tiny little sweet burgers for years. I loved the movie when it came out, but only now do I know how awesome these burgers are.
Joe: Now you know.
Kate: Oh no, is this not a widescreen movie? It is, don’t worry. We won’t miss essential action.
Joe: Is this from Blockbuster?
Kate: Aw, man. We’re not THAT old. This was only 10 years ago.
Joe: Is this the full screen version my grandfather MAKES US WATCH? Remember when you’d go to people’s houses and they’d only have full screen and you’re like, yeah, I gotta be going now.
Kate: Man, this movie is so old you had to look at people’s photographs if you wanted to see their face. Not just go into your phone. Ethan Embry just can’t go over that girl.
Joe: When did this movie come out?
Kate: Ten years ago!
Joe: Right. That’s the idea of this thing right?
Kate: This is the BLOG, Joe.
Joe: Hey look, it’s USC!
Kate: USC! It’s Bovard!
Joe: As we know, a ton of stuff is filmed at our alma mater USC, and they usually use Bovard, our main administration building, to be like a dorm or something. Nice. Our best building is some dude’s annex office.
Kate: Fred Willard FTW.
Joe: He was on the Hemoglobin Trotters. Kickball team name, called it.
Kate: Oh no, Kumar has an ANTENNA on his flip phone. Aw man, Fred Willard just burned his lap with coffee. Great acting there.
Joe: “Mr Patel, I am more than familiar with diarrhea!”
Kate: Kal Penn looks SO YOUNG. Remember when he quit acting to write speeches for Obama?
Joe: Yeah, right? Remember when he worked for OBAMA? What if his future self came back to the set of this movie and was like, hey dude, in a few years you’re gonna work for the PRESIDENT.
Kate: And now Harold’s headed home.
Joe: This has never felt like a movie that takes place in NYC/NJ to me. It’s like an anywhere movie. This happens in every city every day.
Kate: Yeah, they live in Hoboken. Looking good, Hoboken. Aw, Harold’s dream lady is so clean cut. She’s so ‘90s – like Jennifer Love Hewitt from Can’t Hardly Wait.
Joe: This actress’s career blew up. Oh wait, no. And nice clothes. Who checks the mail in lingerie?
Kate: GREAT song choice. FannyPack’s “Cameltoe.”
Joe: This is just some sound dude’s phone on shuffle.
Kate: Oh my god, they are watching Blind Date! Remember when that was a thing? That was such a thing.
Joe: Their elevator is from 1962.
Kate: In, like, Rome.
Kate: Oh no, the Black-Eyed Peas song “Let’s Get Retarded” is playing. Remember when they had to switch it to “Let’s Get It Started” because it was super offensive?
Joe: Let’s get retarded in here! Review title: called it. And a Scissor Sisters poster on the wall!
Kate: Kumar shaved his pubes into a bonsai tree shape? How is that a thing? Bonsais are shaped all sorts of different ways.
Joe: Hey did Kumar work on pube shaves at the White House?
Kate: Nice butt, Kal Penn.
Joe: He has an old man ass, like, 100 years old.
Kate: Gross. Our two reviews so far feature gross men’s butts. In Eurotrip, “chicas,” and now Kumar’s butt. Those are the movies we like, Joe. Gross men’s butts. Review title: called it.
Joe: And this “I Heart Bush” tee shirt is a strong choice.
Kate: Oh man, this PSA is one of the best parts of this movie:
Kid #1: Come on, dude. Just take one hit. Don’t you wanna be cool? [Kid #2 takes one hit.] Hey man, what are you doing?
Kid #2: I’m so high, nothing can hurt me. [Kid #2 picks up rifle.]
Kid #1: Noooooooooo!” [Kid #2 shoots himself.]
Joe: And now the two of them: “We’re not low.”
Kate: “We’re not low.” Review title: called it. Oh man, the choice was between KFC or White Castle. They made a good choice. KFC is nasty.
Joe: Six sliders only $2.99.
Kate: Time for the White Castle commercial: This is where the journey really begins.
Joe: Man ten years ago we had it all FIGURED OUT.
Kate: Okay, Joe, it’s time for the fries.
Joe: While Kate is doing the fry-break, let me list off some new items on the White Castle menu: Fish Nibblers. “Drinks by the Gallon.” Clam Strips. I mean, they are all needing to be discussed but DRINKS BY THE GALLON? I mean, they KNOW WHO THE AUDIENCE IS. People who get up and are like, man, I need two GALLONS OF JUICE.
Kate: Back by popular demand; orange juice! (This is an actual sign in the window at White Castle.)
Joe: Oh lord. Then WHY DID IT LEAVE IN THE FIRST PLACE? And WHAT THE FUCK IS THE DEAL WITH THE JUICE POLITICS HERE?
Kate: Orange juice was tired of the drama. He was like, “I gotta get out of here and move to Detroit where they’ll APPRECIATE ME.”
Joe: Somebody like a CLAM NIBBLER was giving him ATTITUDE.
Joe: Ok we’re back. Back with Rosenberg and Goldstein.
Kate: The Jews are going for KFC.
Joe: Man, was this before Katie Holmes was married to Tom? Yikes, a decade.
Kate: Oh yeah! Like Dawson’s Creek Katie Homes.
WE’VE GONE TOO FAR
Kate: “No, we’ve gone too far.” Review title: called it. Classic line.
Joe: Remember when people referred to gay guys as pitchers and catchers?
Kate: Yikes, a decade.
Kate: The Extreme dudes are amazing: “We’re gonna go get some extreme Mountain Dew!” Isn’t all Mountain Dew pretty extreme?
Joe: Whenever I see someone drinking Mountain Dew I am immediately concerned, for them and anyone they encounter in the world.
Joe: Harold and Kumar are planning to eat twenty burgers? Wow.
Kate: That guy honking at the turnpike needs to take it down a notch.
Joe: “Hey move your ass! Move you fucking twat!”
Kate: “Hey check it out those guys look like a lame version of us.” [Gets the shit kicked out of them.] Dammit Newark.
Joe: “Use the presets?” Take it easy, Harold.
Kate: Harold needs to let go, you see. And Kumar need to take more responsibility. This crucial characterization brought to you by car radio presets.
Joe: “Welcome to BURGER SHACK.”
Kate: Anthony Anderson: Yes. Wow, he said “flavor crystals are in the meat.”
Joe: “Just makes me want to burn this motherfucker down!” So many memorable lines.
Kate: Epic. “No matter what, we are not ending this night without White Castle in our stomachs.” They are still determined.
Joe: “Me and Pookie? We added a secret ingredient. I’ll give you a hint: it’s semen. Animal semen.”
Kate: Goldstein and Rosenberg are watching The Gift on TV. So they can’t fast forward to Katie Holmes’s boobs or pause it when it happens. Man, remember that? Watching movies straight through?
Joe: A decade ago was also a century ago. “Dude, do you know where I can get some chronic?” This is the George W. Bush world of marijuana.
Kate: Oh man, remember how George W. Bush is a character in the second Harold and Kumar movie? That was quite a choice. This first movie is so much better than the other two. They should have just stopped here.
Joe: Yeah. Really got out-of-hand. Though it’s worth mentioning here that my mom absolutely loves this movie and saw the other two. I don’t really know what to say about that.
Kate: You know your mom is halfway through a Crave Case right now. Oh now they’re at Princeton. Great lines here:
“I’m a business hippie, man.”
“Kenny’s mom dropped off a big pot of kimchi chicken.”
Also, these British girls are really problematic. A terrible portrayal of co-eds: argyle sweaters, plunging necklines, slutty. They go to Princeton, for god’s sake.
Joe: And also why are they the British Olsen twins?
Kate: Roldy, aw…what a cute nickname for Harold.
Joe: Princeton cops! “Barracuda to Sparrow: We’ve got two high fliers on level 3.”
Kate: Ugh, these British women are talking about their breasts together and then are like, oh god, we have the taco shits. I love this movie, but I wish a woman had been on this production team.
Joe: Yeah. Like one single woman. This is definitely how a 16-year-old dude thinks about college and the hidden mysteries of the women’s bathroom. “I’m about to have the worst case of taco shits!”
Kate: “Hey Clarissa, do you want to play battleshits?”
Joe: “We haven’t played that since back at camp!”
Kate: I am so glad this humor isn’t a thing anymore…toilet humor was such a thing of the ‘90s and early 2000s.
Joe: Oh yeah, you needed one thing about shits in every movie to get greenlit. And one brief titty flash.
Kate: Gross. This and Eurotrip both have awkward boob scenes.
Joe: The cops again! “Hold his throat and groin, come on rookie!”
YOU THE KING OF THE FOREST?
Kate: Oh no: Harold has a flashlight on his computer! What an odd thing.
Joe: Oh yeah, Kate, good call. Flashlights on computers. Yes. Also, you needed a scene with an animal to get any movie like this greenlit.
Kate: Aaaand Jamie Kennedy: GO.
Joe: It all happens.
Kate: This scene stands the test of time.
“HUH? WHAT? WELL THIS BUSH LOOKED LIKE I SHOULD PEE ON IT. OH, SO YOU GET TO PEE ON IT ANY NO ONE ELSE DOES?”
Kate: “Huh? This your bush? You have a special bond with this bush?”
Joe: “YOU THE KING OF THE FOREST?”
Kate: Well-delivered line by Kumar: “Don’t worry about it, I really don’t feel like getting stabbed today.”
Kate: That raccoon is killer. Stellar acting, raccoon.
Joe: Who is the raccoon puppetmaster? And when is puppetry getting its own category at the Oscars?
Kate: Right? Puppeteers are some of the hardest workers in the biz. Aw man, why is that vicious raccoon throwing up blood on Harold?
Joe: Just a really strong choice.
Kate: And now Goldstein and Rosenberg are back! Eddie Kaye Thomas is keeping relevant.
Joe: Kate, here he comes.
Kate: Yes! Now it’s time for the guy with the pinky touch! The old dude sitting next to Kumar in the waiting room. He looks like The Most Interesting Man in the World from those Dos Equis commercials. It’s his, like, hobo brother.
Joe: “I don’t always have brothers, but when I do, they are creepy hobos who love to pinkie touch.” I mean, this man does not know he is in a movie and reacted naturally in a waiting room. He’s just looking for a connection.
Kate: He just really wants to touch Kumar with his pinky. He is like Uncle Moke from Eurotrip. They should be friends.
Joe: This is his actual move in real life.
Kate: Tots. I want him to make that move on me.
Joe: Legitimately this man pinky-skoots like every ten minutes, no matter where he is. Kate, I think it’s time for a chicken waffle sandwich break.
CHICKEN WAFFLE SANDWICH
Kate: Guys, this is an actual new special sandwich at White Castle. It horrifyingly has waffles instead of bread, surrounding fried chicken. It smells sugary, like maple syrup.
Joe: I think this is what displaced orange juice.
Kate: This is going to be amazing. Also: We’re going to have heart attacks tonight.
Joe: They were like we can have orange juice or chicken waffle burgers BUT NOT BOTH.
Kate: Okay everyone. Joe just spit out the sandwich. Things are going really well. He literally spat it back out onto the plate.
Joe: It’s like eating through your bedroom pillow, then biting into a rat.
Kate: It is a total meltdown over here.
Joe: It tastes like what a bounce castle smells like.
Kate: Okay it’s my turn to try it…You know, it doesn’t taste like anything. It just tastes like starch. Okay, back to the movie. Man, why did they go to Kumar’s dad’s hospital? This actor is good. He’s very committed to the role.
Joe: Harold still has raccoon blood on him. Think about that for the rest of this movie.
Kate: Ryan Reynolds: GO. Remember when he wasn’t an A-list actor? He was just the guy from Van Wilder? Was he married to Alanis Morissette at this time?
Joe: Oh yeah.
Kate: Time for them to be called into random surgery!
Joe: Man, Ryan Reynolds’ character gets creepy in a hurry, calling Kumar “sweet pea.” Then, “your soft chocolate lips.” Yikes.
Kate: Kumar forgot to sew up the bullet holes. He maybe isn’t a great doctor?
Joe: Newsflash. We are now eating the first burgers of the movie. They are delicious. Lots of flavor crystals.
Kate: Totally. Did surgery make us want to eat burgers?
Joe: Mmmmm bullet holes.
Kate: Uh-oh, they’re in a car crash!
Joe: Also they’re like, if you make a wrong turn and go down a small hill, you’re now in the deep South. Welcome to New Jersey.
Kate: Yeah they are now in the deep swamp. Christopher Meloni: GO. Always playing weirdos. I mean, this character’s name is Freakshow.
Joe: Also I like that a decade ago the pot heroes had to be like really great citizens and professionals. Now they’re like, yeah, we don’t do anything. Think about Smiley Face. She couldn’t even back the car out of the garage.
Kate: Yeah, I think that’s apt. Aw man, Freakshow just LOVES Jesus.
Joe: Also Meloni was definitely like, I get one take and I can do whatever I want. End of contract.
Kate: “….I heard everything you said.” I’m terrible at quoting movies, but I can always quote this movie. Especially that line, because I love his delivery so much. I also like that there’s a trash fire in the background and hella rabid dogs. It’s like Eastern Europe in Eurotrip.
Joe: Freakshow concerns: 1) boxes of barking dogs 2) medieval organ 3) Leanne
Kate: Ew, look at all the dolls! So creepy. Oh god, he’s brainwashed poor Leanne. He’s like Charles Manson. Also, why would she go from wanting it in both holes to giving blow jobs? This is the stupidest male fantasy of all time. And now more random boobs. Saying, “Do you wanna play with them” is the worst way to start sex ever.
Joe: And now they’re off again. Oh man, remember when we didn’t have GPS? They are so lost. “Is that a hitchhiker?”
NPH WOULDN’T DO THAT, OR, FUR BURGERS
Kate: NPH: GO
Joe: “Excuse me, are you Neil Patrick Harris?” Remember when he was known for Doogie Howser?
Kate: Yeah, before he blew up.
Joe: Another actor who also demanded a one-take role. Let me say whatever I want, signed, NPH.
Kate: “Yeah, I’ve been craving burgers too, fur burgers.” Fur burgers, review title name, called it.
Joe: Perpetually sweaty people cannot be trusted even if they are NPH. Actually especially if they are.
Kate: Which came first: this is or HIMYM? Was he a lady killer on that because of this? Weird.
Joe: The extreme guys are back. Could you, in the George W. Bush years, just go around being professionally extreme? And doing velociraptor noises?
Kate: I’m pretty sure I went to high school with that pterodactyl extreme guy. EXTREME KAYAK!
Joe: Extreme kayaking!
Kate: “Check it out, extreme cheddar! Wooooooooooooo!”
Joe: He has a sun tattoo on his shoulder
Kate: And a Misled Youth tattoo. Classy.
Joe: The classiest.
Kate: NPH! Don’t steal the car!
Joe: Just checking in: Harold still has raccoon blood on his jacket. Really raises the stakes of this movie.
Kate: Omg payphones! Why doesn’t Harold have a cell phone? He has a job and everything.
Joe: They should get a ticket for using a payphone. The officer should arrest them for using a payphone.
Kate: “When are they going to develop button technology that will understand URGENCY?” I think of that often in my daily life.
Joe: “Who the fuck are you, shitwad?” New Jersey Police: “NPH wouldn’t do that!”
Kate: “NPH WOULDN’T DO THAT, ALRIGHT?” “What kind of name is that anyhow? Kumar? What is that – five o’s or two u’s?”
THE UNIVERSE UNFOLDS AS IT SHOULD
Kate: Aw man, poor Princeton drug dealer Bradley Thomas had to be bailed out of jail. Good thing his mom loves him.
Joe: “Get in the car, Bradley Thomas.” Meanwhile, the search for the escaped cheetah continues. Oh, this exchange is priceless:
“So what are you in here for?
“For being black.”
“I was walking out of a Barnes & Noble and cop stops me.”
“Look at me, I’m fat, black, can’t dance, and I have two gay fathers. People have been messing with me my whole life.”
Kate: “In the end, the universe unfolds like it should.” Oh man, Harold’s police record is on paper. Not in a computer. This movie is old.
Joe: That desktop computer is a foot thick.
Kate: Another great song choice—“Crazy on You” from Heart. Heart is amazing.
Joe: And cue the weed dream sequence!!
Kate: It’s time for Kumar’s dream of a love affair with a bag of pot. Aw man, he beats his weedbag wife because of her poor coffee-making skills. Poor bag, she’s doing her best.
Joe: And back to jail. This poor guy: “That’s not a gun, it’s a book.”
Kate: This movie really thinks America/Jersey is racist. It makes quite a statement about American white people.
Joe: White people are the worst. And that carefully placed picture of Bush on the wall.
Kate: And here it is. CHEETAH! It’s animated so poorly; it’s like a Veggie Tale.
Joe: Is this cheetah really eating people? Yikes.
Kate: No, just the beef jerky! He’s a sweet cheetah.
Joe: Man, that cheetah loves weed.
Kate: This is not the point, but why would anyone ever ride a cheetah? That’d be the worst. They, like, hunt prey. It’d be a bumpy ride.
Joe: So this is certainly the most famous part of this movie? Like, people remember this riding the cheetah stuff clearly. And is really is quite a choice. Most of the rest of the movie isn’t that. There are so many good and less-crazy things, comparatively, that go on, I don’t know…
Kate: Harold’s concussion dream scene…commence!
Joe: Oh yeah.
Joe: Bullets, my only weakness.
Kate: Omg Maria’s last name is Quesa Dilla. Maria Quesa Dilla! This is the first time I noticed that.
Joe: It’s a strong choice.
Kate: Uh-oh…NPH picked up some strippers.
Joe: And they’re all in the sunroof.
Kate: “I want that feeling…
Joe: “…that feeling that comes over a man when he gets exactly what he desires.”
Kate: “Are you saying what I think you’re saying? We’re going to White Castle.”
“Dude, that was so not extreme.”
“I know, Extreme Sports Punk #1.”
Kate: This song “Hold On” came onto the radio today when Joe and I were driving and we knew tonight had to be the night.
Joe: Yeah. “We’ve come too far.”
Kate: You see, now Harold’s letting loose. Character arc.
Joe: I love how there’s this gigantic chasm in New Jersey.
Kate: Like the rock quarry in Garden State!
Kate: Kumar says this journey is about the immigrant experience. “They were very very hungry.”
Joe: “It’s about far more than that. Our parents came to this country escaping persecution, poverty, and hunger.”
Kate: This is all about the American Dream, Joe. That’s why this movie is so good.
Joe: We’re on the main nerve. It’s vibrating on every level. It is absolutely the American Dream to spend all night looking for burgers and confronting racism and extreme punks and riding cheetahs.
Kate: It took the cops until sunrise to find them. They made like one sneaky turn to elude that cop and now it’s been six more hours.
Joe: That cop car has been chasing them THROUGH THE BREAK OF DAWN. Their special effects budget of one Crave Case didn’t cover nighttime work.
Kate: Skateboard punks FRAMED. They deserve it.
Joe: They flew in a hang glider all across America to get a dozen blocks.
Kate: So many stunts in this movie. And now….It’s time for White Castle!
Joe: Literally there was going to be a double murder and then they made it to White Castle. This movie turns on a dime.
Kate: “Ooof, looks like you guys had quite a night, huh.” Good job, White Castle employee. Oh man, $46.75 is so much for fast food! Fast food usually costs, like, $7.68 total for a family of four. Good thing NPH saves the day. His hair is dyed this bleachy color. Funny.
Joe: “Yeah, it was a dick move on my part, that’s why I’m paying for your meal.” “I made some love stains in the backseat. You’ll see.” I gotta start using “love stains” way more in my life.
Kate: “Where are you going? Wherever god takes me.” NPH OUT.
Joe: So we’ve gone officially into our case of burgers. These little boxes are so cute. Major selling point to the kleptomaniac crowd. I am going to eat a million burgers.
Kate: “That was the best meal of my life.” “Mine too.”
Joe: Man if you see someone eating White Castle while weeping…odds are they just sat on a cheetah.
Kate: Ethan Embry—booooooooo.
Joe: Turns out Kumar does want to be a doctor after getting White Castle tonight.
Kate: They’ve switched roles, you see. They are becoming better people. AND LIVING THE AMERICAN DREAM.
Joe: The office dudes have gonorrhea. Harold just GUESSED about the gonorrhea. Life rule #1: don’t let someone be able to guess that you’ve got gonorrhea. Rule #2: if you do get gonorrhea, spend as much time as necessary developing a poker face. Rule #3: don’t get gonorrhea.
Kate: Agreed. And now they’re back home, to the slowest elevator ever. In Rome.
Joe: It’s 1962 Rome. Maria’s leaving!
Kate: Cool outfit, Maria, very AMERICAN. A midriff-baring star shirt.
Joe: After that, she’ll be quite unreachable. This is definitely Eurotrip 2: How This Shit Goes When You’re 30. Harold and Kumar are like what Scotty and Cooper would be at 30.
Kate: Hold on. Why would Maria just kiss him? Honestly, not a great female portrayal in this movie.
Joe: So really he just went from, I don’t know who you are to kissing her in one elevator ride.
Kate: Well she liked him already and was waiting for him to make a move, so I guess it’s okay.
Joe: She’s going to Amsterdam? To Club Vandersexxxxx?
Kate: She’s never coming back from Amsterdam.
Joe: “Just a little kiss action.” Oh yikes. That’s how he talks about romance?
Kate: “You do realize what’s legal in Amsterdam, right?”
Joe: And now the wrap-up. This is a great narrative device: explain every subplot that did not get resolved through TV news narration.
Kate: Yeah, it’s smart.
EXCEPT FOR THE CHICKEN WAFFLE SANDWICH
Joe: Oh man, I am definitely going to eat the last two burgers.
Kate: Justice for all, the American Dream is real, the end.
Joe: I just like how serious a weed movie needed to be in 2004. Like, we will become great doctors and citizens but give us this one vice. Now characters are like, Oh, man, do we really have to get milk today?
Kate: That’s really true. These two actors are good together. I hope they actually liked each other. That’s another thing that makes this movie awesome – pretty solid acting. A funny and relatable everyman story. Lots of madcap adventures. Dated by references and technology use, but not by humor, really. It’s still funny. Good jokes. TONS of memorable lines.
Joe: Yeah, it does feel ten years old. I think the weed world has changed a lot since. With Washington and Colorado, and the fact that marijuana is so much more mainstream, this movie plays up the lunacy of it in a way I don’t think movies have to now.
Kate: Yeah, that’s true. It’s more commonplace in pop culture now. Just regular people doing regular things.
Joe: So a movie like Smiley Face can exist. Or for that matter, Neighbors this year when these grown-ass adults with a new kid give their weed to a frat as a welcome-to-the-neighborhood gift.
Kate: This movie is like, if you smoke weed, crazy adventures like this happen.
Joe: We go from let’s ride this cheetah to I can’t back my car out of the driveway so I got problems.
Kate: Totally. Or, like, I can’t get a job. Or later with Judd Apatow, it’s like not being able to be a responsible partner and dad.
Joe: Being stoned doesn’t have to be played as a silly thing anymore, or like a fringe thing. Like, the difference is this is a movie about it taking a whole night to get to White Castle. Movies now are like, I felt like it took the whole night. Also it was only 30 minutes.
Kate: Truth. All right, I think we’ve said it all. Sweet movie.
Joe: Sweet. Nice castling with you, Kate.
Kate: Nice castling with you, Joe. Except for the chicken waffle sandwich, which was not our favorite part of the night.