Live From SXSW's Screening Room
ROLLING KANSASD: Thomas Haden Church; with Charlie Finn, Sam Huntington, Ryan McDow, Jay Paulson, Rip Torn.
Narrative Feature Narcoleptics, wheelchairs, bunny rabbits, and a detached human nose: These are but a few of the everyday objects put to comedic use in Rolling Kansas, a lighthearted road-trip flick about five bumbling guys navigating the Great Plains in their appropriately decrepit Lincoln Continental. Their destination? Why, the Magical Forest of Marijuana, of course -- a secret government experiment discovered by the young men's now-incarcerated hippie parents. First-time writers David Denney and Thomas Haden Church (who also directed) saw to it that the journey was fraught with the usual assortment of roadside dangers, including androgynous waitresses, strippers in overalls, humorless state troopers, and livestock. The movie's go-for-broke approach to humor is buoyed by some great performances in an all-around jolly cast, including Rip Torn as a Dionysian horticulturist. Even though as many of its jokes fall flat as a fly swatter, there's still enough successful gags left over to choke a whale.