Revisiting 'Pineapple Express'—and the Dealer-Boyfriend I Saw It With, 10 Years Ago

You know how it’s been said that time flies when you’re having fun? Well, time really fucking soars when you’re staying high, because somehow a whole 10 years have passed since we were blessed with David Gordon Green’s Pineapple Express

I first saw the stoner action-comedy in the biggest theater in town with my dealer/boyfriend, J, and while a lot has definitely changed for tokers since August 2008, Pineapple Express’ jokes still ring true for any cannabis consumer. If you somehow still haven’t seen it, or even if you’ve seen it 100 times, I suggest you pop it on tonight, and light up a joint or load the bong. Hell, go really wild and do both. It’s an anniversary party, after all!

Seth Rogen and James Franco always seem to have a ball together on screen, and as Dale Denton and Saul Silver, they’re given plenty of space for it. Rogen co-wrote Pineapple Express and originally was intending to play goofy pot dealer Saul, but instead takes on the role of Saul's customer, a 25-year-old who witnesses a murder and must make a plan for survival when he fears he will be identified by the very exclusive Pineapple Express roach he left at the scene. Together, Saul and Dale embark on a paranoid journey to Red, played with vigor by Danny McBride, and they take on the bad guys who happen to sell really good pot. It's pot that smells like "God’s vagina," pot so good that "it’s a shame to smoke it, it’s like killing a unicorn … with a bomb."
Other than the film's casual use of pay phones, it’s the glimpse at the world before dispensaries became the norm that feels the most nostalgic to this Californian. Going to a dispensary offers the selection you dream of, but these days, the taxes and long lines have me missing that something special about finding a good dealer like Saul. In terms of the “are they my dealer or my friend” conundrum, in 2008 I was actually dating my dealer, so clearly I leaned toward the latter. He, like Saul for Dale, saved me the good pot.

Stoner movies in the past had missed the chance to give the dealer’s role some dimension, which includes cracking jokes about lingerers and the subpar snicklefritz sold to undesirable customers. When the credits rolled on Pineapple Express 10 years ago, my now-ex felt seen, and finally had a character for him. Saul Silver is the dealer we all wished we had, the guy who not only hooked you up with the best weed but made you feel like his best fucking friend forever.
When the credits rolled on Pineapple Express 10 years ago, my now-ex felt seen and finally had a character for him.
It seems like both a lifetime ago and simultaneously just one big bong toke since Pineapple Express first hit theaters, and the movie held up a lot better than my relationship with my dealer/boyfriend, that’s for sure—and for good reason. The movie’s success was another notch in the belt for the undeniable popularity of pot, part of the wave of pro-cannabis moments that led to medical marijuana laws passing left and right in the decade since. The film was centered on the dealer experience and helped normalize the plant that so many people voted on in the years since its premiere.

Put Pineapple Express on tonight, and make sure you’re stoned when you do—like, really, really stoned, feeling like a slice o’ butter melting on top of a big ol’ pile of flapjacks stoned. It’s how the movie was meant to be enjoyed.

Related Topics

Explore Categories