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The coming of age comedy is a genre that never gets old, but certainly gets tired from time to time. Thankfully, there's still some fresh lifeblood in the old genre yet, as you'll see in the trailer to the upcoming film, writer/director Rick Famuyiwa's Dope. With a retro flavor in a modern setting, as well as some comedic assistance from one of the three cast members of Workaholics, the first glimpse below looks to be quite promising.
Open Road Films dropped this new trailer, and the film tells the story of Malcolm (Shameik Moore) – a really smart teenager with an affinity for 90's hip hop, a brain full of smart-ass remarks, and eyes for the girlfriend of a local drug dealer. All three collide when he and his friends are forced to fence some product that said drug dealer planted on Malcolm, and if this plays out like a movie from his favorite decade of pop culture, they're all going to learn something more valuable than the street value of prime cocaine before all of this is over. Oh, and before you ask, that is indeed The Grand Budapest Hotel's Tony Revolori cast as one of Malcolm's closest friends. Revolori actually gets one of the best lines in the trailer, as his character opines that a Waze like app for avoiding bullies should be on the market.
Normally, this is the part where there would more than likely be some cringing and remarks about how retro themed teen comedies in a modern setting tend to be a little more twee than hysterical. However, given that The DUFF actually turned out better than we'd expected, as well as the fact that Talk To Me writer/director Rick Famuyiwa's positive track record with similar subject matter is a very good sign of where this project could be going. If you're going to trust anyone to tell the story of a young man going through important life changes in an urban environment that ultimately shapes it all, you're definitely going to want to trust the man behind 1999's The Wood.
While it looks like something we've already seen teen comedies do in their 1980's / 1990's heyday, Dope looks like it could play out a little differently than most of those movies. One way the film is keen on distancing itself from its older inspirations is its visual style, especially if the random bursts of graffiti and drawings interspersed with the live action. Also, the film looks to employ Workaholics star Blake Anderson to help tackle the film's central subject of the drug trade, as well as an interesting looking subplot involving racial slurs and face slapping. We're starting to think we can see why Anderson was willing to shave off all of his trademark facial hair.
Dope lights up the screen on June 19th.