They don’t really do stoner comedies like they used to, do they? not since harmony korine’s pot-fueled romp the beach bum in 2019, the subgenre hadn’t felt creatively reinvigorated and sadly, this trend towards mediocrity continues with machine gun kelly’s vehicle good mourning. while it somehow manages to stumble on genuine moments of absurd humor, the film is too disorganized and uninspired to effectively exploit its rare comedic moments. Co-directed by Machine Gun Kelly (credited as Colson Baker) and fellow mod musician Sun, Good Mourning lacks the fanbase appeal and pandemic-induced creativity of the duo’s previous effort, the high falls from last year. What is perhaps more egregious, however, is the film’s constant reliance on corny family guy-style jokes, which somehow feel more stale than seth macfarlane’s dead horse, beaten now for an excruciating 20th season.
London Clash (Machine Gun Kelly’s cutesy in-movie nickname) is a burgeoning Hollywood actor on the verge of a big break. El’s agent Maxine (Whitney Cummings) has secured him a script for an upcoming Batman movie, but a text from his girlfriend Apple (Becky G) on the morning of their meeting with the future director completely shakes him off. . “I wish I didn’t have to say this over text,” says the first message from him. it is briefly followed by a second text, which simply reads “good mourning”.
after looking up the definition of the word “mourning”, london realizes that this text could be the end of a relationship. Panicking at the prospect of losing Apple, London neglects her Batman duties and embarks on a series of meaningless escapades to track down his (potentially ex) girlfriend and find out exactly what the man is. text of the omen of it. on. Joining him on this journey are his various friends taken advantage of, with Mod Sun playing fellow blue-haired punk, Dylan. Also included among London’s goofy cohort are Leo (cat rapper, who also stars as a fictionalized version of himself in Dave), Angel (Zach Villa), new assistant Olive (former Disney Channel star Dove Cameron) and lesbian roommate Kennedy (MGK’s real-life roommate Megan Fox is said to have inspired the film’s premise in the first place).
the script for good mourning is lackluster to the core, based on a plot that is so insignificant that it struggles to carry the film through what should be a joyous 93 runtime minutes. there is absolutely nothing compelling about the film’s characters, their motivations, or the results of their efforts. It really does seem like the film was conceived as nothing more than a convenient excuse to get all of the filmmaker’s friends to have fun in front of a camera, which sounds about as appealing as any group of stoner friends deciding to document every single one of their obtuse (and largely without grace) observation. the idea that someone (and their entire extended group of friends) is funny enough to deserve an entire movie is insufferable enough on its face. that the resulting film is so decidedly unfunny adds a surface layer of psychic torment on top of it all. In today’s barren wasteland that is the stoner comedy landscape, this laziness is nothing short of unforgivable.
although many of the players featured in good mourning are familiar with acting on movie sets, it’s clear that machine gun kelly and mod sun were simply looking for an excuse to fill every frame of their movie . with the faces of their friends, damn their respective talent and relevance to the narrative. Most emblematic of the downfall of this practice is the inclusion of rapper Trippie Redd, who clearly couldn’t memorize lines or portray a character who simply appears on screen as himself, or even caring enough to resist looking directly at him. the camera (probably that’s why his character wears dark sunglasses). In a movie where a bunch of recognizable pop culture figures play fictional characters (Amber Rose, Pete Davidson), Trippie Redd’s cameo feels like a friendly favor that could have easily been cut. In contrast, the cameos made by Dennis Rodman and Avril Lavigne may not have been expertly executed to their comedic potential, but they add a cheeky twist that’s much more rooted in celebrity self-awareness than self-indulgence.
At the very least, Good Mourning is the kind of movie where you can give in to drugged complacency. through confused thoughts of “wait, who is that?” or “what just happened?”, you can take comfort in the fact that the absence of this information will not affect your long-term viewing experience. for a film so poorly conceived and laborious, it makes sense that the audience would put as little effort into seeing it as the directors did into directing it. if you’re looking for an inconsequential way to while away an hour and a half, good mourning features familiar faces wandering aimlessly through a well-worn plot, perfect for half-watching while checking imdb to identify the plethora of bland celebrity faces.
Directors: colson baker, mod sun Writers: colson baker, mod sun Stars: colson baker, mod sun, becky g, megan fox, dove cameron, cat, zach villa, jenna boyd, pete davidson release date: May 20, 2022 (open road movies)
natalia keogan is a freelance film writer living in queens, new york. Her work has appeared in filmmaker magazines, pasta magazines, and blood knife magazines, among others. find her on twitter @nataliakeogan