starring John Cho, Kal Penn, Neil Patrick Harris, Anthony Anderson
screenplay by Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg
directed by Danny Leiner
by Walter Chaw Danny Leiner's Dude, Where's My Car isn't as bad as you'd think and his Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle is probably a good deal better than you have any right to expect. It begins as any number of gross-out frat-boy comedies do, with a white guy picking on a quiet Asian dude--and then it makes the interesting decision to stay with the quiet Asian dude (Korean actor John Cho (Harold)) and his roommate, East Indian Kumar (Kal Penn), as they embark on a quest to kill marijuana munchies at the revered White Castle hamburger chain. It's about, as Harold says at one point, the feeling of a man getting what he really wants. A simple enough statement (certainly a simple enough basis for a picture--some would say too simple), but it speaks volumes of our culture that it's so unusual that Harold and Kumar are not only not merely racial shorthand caricatures, but also just young men.