Maria goes to White Castle
Alumni screenwriters handle humorous and
heavy themes with equal cinematic aplomb, as demonstrated by two
summer releases: Hayden Schlossberg’s (AB’00) Harold
and Kumar Go to White Castle (cowritten by Jon Hurwitz)—a
meatier version of the classic stoner flick—and Joshua Marston’s
(AM’94) Maria Full of Grace—which chronicles
a Colombian drug mule smuggling heroin into the United States. The
acclaimed films have more in common than critical praise. Here are
ten other similarities:
|Photo credit: haroldandkumar.com,
1. Pretty girls named Maria—One,
a neighbor, captures Harold’s heart; the other, full of grace,
wins the audience’s affection.
2. Illegal drugs—Twenty-something
potheads Harold and Kumar live for them; 17-year-old Maria, a first-time
mule, lives despite them.
3. Melting-pot stories—Asian
American Harold and Indian American Kumar subvert second-generation
stereotypes; Maria explores Jackson Heights, a largely immigrant
neighborhood in Queens, and meets Colombian residents.
4. The American Dream—In
the face of adversity Kumar reminds Harold that their parents came
to the United States so they could have better lives and that scoring
those sliders is about the American Dream; a pregnant Maria considers
the opportunities she’d gain by staying in Queens.
5. Job frustration—Harold’s
workload piles up as insensitive colleagues unload assignments on
him; Maria feels trapped in a dead-end existence, dethorning roses
in a Colombia flower factory.
6. Family pressure—Kumar’s
father insists he become a doctor; Maria’s mother and sister
demand her financial support.
7. Dangerous journeys—To
curb their Castle cravings Harold and Kumar take a road trip complete
with car crashes, animal bites, jail time, and other assorted misadventures;
Maria faces a sweaty plane ride from Bogotá to New York,
airport interrogation, and violent thugs.
8. Underworld action—Harold
and Kumar’s New Jersey night takes them through backwoods
and ’burbs infested with bullies, sexual predators, and racist
cops; Maria navigates the drug-smuggling sphere.
9. Unhealthy ingestion—Harold
and Kumar suck back massive amounts of pot, burgers, fries, and
sodas; Maria swallows 62 heroin pellets.
10. Coming of age—Harold
and Kumar recommit to professional careers; Maria chooses a life
better suited to child rearing.—M.L.