Rejoice! Rejoice! The Yoga Hosers trailer is finally here! Why am I so excited? Because now I can stop searching Google every few weeks for a movie about teenage yoga enthusiasts. This is like that time I lost my Girl Scout Cookie connection. It was a cold and dark night when I learned the woman I’d been buying my cookies from for years had moved away. I didn’t know what I was going to do. Those delightful little treats grace my cabinets but once a year and that time was just around the corner. I was in a frenzy. No tagalongs to devour the first night? No samoas for after I’ve binged on the tagalongs? No thin mints to avoid for months until the one night when I’m real… sleepy and have the munchies?
I had to act. So, I got on my computer and started making a map of all the places near me where the Girl Scouts hung out and sold their wares. Now you must understand, “near me” was a relative term back then because where I lived at the time was pretty darn close to the middle of nowhere. Hence my need to map it out. I must have researched a dozen locations and narrowed it down to a church about an hour away and a video store that was just a little further but in a town that would have made it extra worth the trip. And then it dawned on me. I was mapping out locations where little girls hang out. Upon that awakening I promptly erased my browser history, confessed my sins to Jesus (who just so happened to be at my house for “tea” at the time) and gave up my hunt for those yummy yum yums. I also became uncomfortably aware of my poor choices of words when talking about those cookies. Sadly to this day, I have not found another hookup and accourding to my research for this article… THEY DON’T MAKE SAMOAS ANYMORE!! 🙁
Knowing that story, I think you can understand my dilemma since the last ComicCon in 2015 when Smith showed a trailer for Yoga Hosers. I was sure footage would leak with all the other gold in that mountain but the mania came and went and nothing. For weeks I searched every few days. For months I searched every few weeks. And then it dawned on me. This was the Girl Scout Cookie incident all over again. Now almost a full year later it’s finally here and that time I spent waiting has yielded many questions. Mainly, why in F!@#’s Face is Kevin Smith making a movie starring both his daughter and Johnny Depp’s daughter as Yoga enthusiasts? I mean, we all know what Yoga is… FREE PORN! Why is Johnny Depp OK with this? And, seriously, why am I so damned excited? Three reasons for the easy answer to why I’m so excited: 1) Tusk. 2) Johnny Depp as Guy Lapointe. 3) It’s Girl Clerks starring Depp and Smith’s kids.
We’ll talk more about those reasons in our review but before we do, check out the official Yoga Hosers trailer for yourself below!
So now we’ve all seen it. The big wait is over. And….. I like it. Maybe it’s the Sundance critic remarks sticking in my head but it really does feel like a Clerks / Amblin Creature Feature crossbreed. It’s not quite the Tusk vibe I was hoping for, more like a restrained Troma film from the look of this trailer, but it seems like a fun ride none-the-less.
I do have a few problems, why wouldn’t I? First, is that seemingly missing Tusk vibe. If you’ve seen that movie or even heard about it you probably know it’s the film that truly reignited Kevin Smith’s passion for filmmaking and for good reason. The man was about to make a hockey dramedy and call it quits forever and then he made Red State and reconsidered his decision. Some time after that, during one of his stoned podcasts in front of a live studio audience, an ad about a man seeking a housemate who would dress up like a walrus was read and the rest is history. While Tusk’s merits are debatable, I personally thought it was a soaring success. Horribly silly ending aside, the dialogue porn and scene slaying performances from Justin Long and Michael Parks keep bringing me back for repeat views and let me tell you, that’s a rare feat these days. Unfortunately, the over-the-top nature of this trailer has me fear more of the former than the latter for Smith’s newest outing.
Another slight worry I have is that Johnny Depp doesn’t seem over-the-top enough with his return as the eccentric manhunter, Guy Lapointe. One of the things critics panned the most about Tusk is one of the things I loved the most, Depp’s Lapointe. They all felt he was unrestrained and erratic in an otherwise evenly toned film. I thought that contrast is what made the surreal situation Justin Long’s character found himself in justified. Insane things happening within an otherwise sane world. In this trailer and from what I’ve read in the early reviews, they completely switched that dynamic. While still eccentric in his nature, Depp’s Lapointe is sort of the straight man in a world of absurdity. This could work and the more I think about it the more I like it but still it’s a question that will for now remain unanswered.
That absurdity brings us to some of the cool parts of the trailer. While maybe some were confused with Smith’s previous effort and weren’t sure if it was to be taken seriously or not, we can see clearly from the start that this movie doesn’t take itself seriously any more than it should and I think we, the viewers, will benefit a lot from that. Smith seems to have evolved as a writer and directer and up until Tusk he was unsure what that meant. He’s always been at his best in the wild and wacky worlds of his original Jersey Trilogy and if you look at those first three films you’ll find the key to his eventual change over twenty years later.
With Clerks and Mallrats he was expressing a feeling while having fun. Painting a portrait of a generation with only slightly exaggerated, cartoonish, elements. Amidst the caricaturist displays there was an anchor in the all too real world. Beyond the shits and fucks and dick jokes you could hear the voice of 90’s youth screaming at you through the undertone. Then came Chasing Amy. It was like that voice broke out of its bonds, lost its reliance on the cartoonish elements that made Smith comfortable enough to let that voice out in the first place and screamed as loud as it could. Maybe it’s just me, I grew up not far from the places and people that populated those movies, but if you asked me what it was like being a teenager in the mid to late 90’s I’d only have Smith’s Jersey Trilogy and Linklater’s SubUrbia to point you to without scarring you deeply.
Then fame and fortune had its way with our underdog hero as Smith spent the greater part of his career making movies for the fans and for the dollars and not so much for himself. After putting his heart into Jersey Girl and having the world grow cold in an instant you can’t blame him for taking the path he did. Dogma and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back were a hell of a lot of fun. Same with Clerks 2 and somewhat for Zak and Miri Make a Porno. Not so much with Cop Out. That last one was the nail in the coffin for Smith. He even went as far as calling the experience soul-crushing. This is pretty much where he announced his retirement. And while Red State is the movie that brought him back from the brink it didn’t quite hit the mark he hoped for. Switching genres and focusing on the acting was enough to bring him out of his comfort zone and enable him to deliver his most unique project to that date but it wasn’t truly satisfying for him. Something was missing. Tusk seemed a perfect marriage of his original films and what he tried to do with Red State and from this trailer, Yoga Hosers looks like the next logical step of evolution for Kevin Smith 2.0.
The only question left, is it the right step? Will he be able to satisfy both himself and his fans now that we’ve had a taste of the silly and serious with Tusk? Will the John Hughes film heart the Colleens promise to bring be enough to make me accept the Bratzi in the same way I accepted the walrus? Or is this going to be a sad, live action (and hopefully tamer) version of Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie? We’ll find out July 29th when the movie is released in theaters, earlier for the select few who will venture out for Smith’s seven stop live tour.
Let us know what you thought about the trailer in the comments and check back here when the movie comes out because you can be sure I’ll be watching and reviewing.