Kinotherapy’s review published on Letterboxd:
"That's what I love about these high school girls. I get older, they stay the same age" And thus, the most famous line about statutory rape in cinema was uttered with no controversy whatsoever.
As you can guess I don't care for this film much, but it's a bit more of a personal reason. I just don't mesh with these films for some reason. But the more I thought about, the more I realized that maybe "Dazed and Confused" isn't a very good movie.
Why don't I like this film? Because this movie to me is just watching all the people I hated in high school doing all the things that made me hate them in high school. If you were like this in high school, that's fine I don't hate you... anymore, but I don't relate to these characters because I wasn't like them, and if you don't relate to the hundreds of characters who are all exactly the same in this, then there's nothing to really get attached to. In the beginning of the film as two characters walk by a nerd, one of them raises a fist and he flinches. Wow, just instantly distanced from all of them. It's a small detail, but if little ticks can show us great things about characters, you have to be careful, because they can also show us the bad.
Another thing about the characters is I don't remember a single thing about any of them, or hardly remember one name. I mean okay, there's the freshman kid, the two smart guys who kind of observed/slashed analyzed what was going on. (I sort of related to them, but they felt out of place at these parties. Why are they here?) Other than that every character was exactly the same. A one-dimensional, partying, stoner, douchebag, wearing overalls. As I watched the end credits show all the characters and actors who played them I kept saying to myself "Who was that? I don't remember him? Didn't they already show him?" It's really sad when your film has a million friggin characters I can't bother to remember even a few.
The first dialogue scene in the film was cringe worthy. Where some of the characters are talking to the stoner kid. Slater I think? Come on parents, if you name your kid Slater he's destined to be a stoner. I was so uncomfortable as these 90's kids tried spewing out hip 70's lingo.
Speaking of uncomfortable I have one more character I'll talk about and that's Matthew McCaughnehey creepy pedophile man. I don't care if it was a different time, it's still creepy. What baffles me is how easily offended people are by harmless movies like "La La Land" or "Baby Driver" but movies like "Grease" or this film somehow get a pass? Are you actually watching the movie, or just pretending to care about it?
Nothing really happens in the film and to me it was never funny. The humor comes from these asshole, privileged, kids just destroying property and doing deuchey things around them. I get that there's a nostalgic side to this film. About reminiscing of a beautiful, fun night when you were young. But the film doesn't offer any way of connection beyond that with it's one-note, unlikable cast. That doesn't mean I have to relate exactly to a character in order to like them. A films job is to take even the characters you feel like you're nothing alike with, and show the humanity and things you have in common with them. The best example I can think of is "Trainspotting" one of the greatest movies of all time! On the surface I don't relate to them one bit, and I wasn't sure how that would effect me and my first viewing. However, within the first minute, Renton gives the famous monologue "Choose life, Choose a career, choose a family... I chose not to choose life" Right then and there I not only understood the character but instantly related to Rent and his friends and saw just how deeper the film went beyond addiction. With "Dazed and Confused" however, there's nothing to elevate these kids from being stereotypical, rambunctious potheads.
I also think there's some kind of horrible messages. I don't think kids should conform to the 'cool kids' and put binkies in their mouths or endure spankings. Who cares? You don't have to do it if you don't want to do it. I also hate at the end when the main character guy 'STICKS IT TO THE MAN, MAN YEAH!' and tells his coach to go flick himself and that he's leaving the team. Yeah, abandon any hope for a future or scholarship, and just hang out with these hippies. I'm sure you'll have a great life! (Apparently there's a sequel to this. Is the kids homeless? Please tell me he's homeless!)
Abysmal characters, unfunny scenes and a soundtrack with many 70's hits, but despite being called "Dazed and Confused" DOESN'T CONTAIN DAZED AND CONFUSED!!!!! HOW DID YOU MISS THAT ONE! If you like this film that's okay. It doesn't mean you're a douche bag or that you were one. It just means that you like a movie that I don't. It's a pretty overrated film in my opinion and doesn't explore anything past the whole nostalgic night aspect. If this is a fun film for you that's good, but it's not fun for me.