So, just since I watched Felix the Cat, Netflix suggested I watch Up in Smoke, and I thought why not? I'd never seen it. Cheech and Chong. It's a classic, right? It was kinda funny. It would probably be a lot funnier if it was 35 years ago, ya know? Things lose their bite with age and imitation.
However, it just so happened that the person I found most amusing in the movie was also the one involved in the SSL Review eligible moment. Of course, a movie must depict or discuss female orgasm or masturbation in order to even get an SSL Review (the most coveted of all reviews!), but this one is a little interesting, because it is a completely fake orgasm, and I don't mean it was a woman faking an orgasm during a sex act. It is a woman named Jade (played by Zane Buzby) telling a story of this other woman having sex. Basically, she's giving a vivid account of this woman's ridiculously over-exuberant orgasm noises that go on through the whole sex act, and it's clear that Jade sees it and the woman doing it as silly and annoying. So, I think it's actually pretty right on, because it kinda calls out the incredibly unrealistic porny perma-gasms that are so common in our sexual media. Although my assessment of this lady-gasm depiction is actually a little more complicated, and I'll get into that later. For now, let me set up the scene.
|This is the Up in Smoke orgasm scene...before Cheech wakes with a cramp|
Jade is supposed to be this like ditzy, free-spirit that is just constantly talking. She's also a drug aficionado and has a case with all these pills and shit in it that she uses and gives to other people. The movie will just cut to her, and she'll be in the middle of telling someone some story that sounds crazy as hell. That's how we get to the orgasm scene, actually. Chong and another girl are sleeping in a van made of pot next to a line of people waiting for a concert. Jade is just calmly sitting there in the van brushing her hair and telling this story to 2 sleeping people. Even when the story gets all heated, it never stops just being a story to her. It's very matter of fact. She's still just brushing her hair and not really caring who's listening. Here's my by-ear transcript of her story. I had to pause and rewind a lot to get this, so at least read it and make it worth my while.
She was like nuts. You could always tell if she was in the hotel Bono(?not sure if that's the right word?) man ya know. Like everyone'd be dozin off and all the sudden she'd start up. First you'd hear it, it'd start up like ya know, ahhh, ahhh (real gentle and slow) but then she'd like really get goin' and she'd be more like ya know uh uh uh (a little rougher sounding) ya know and she'd start going like a motor boat, ya know fuu-uu-uuu-uuck me Alex. His name was Alex. Ya know, Fuu-uuu-uu-uuuck meeeee. fu-uuu-uuck mee-eee-ee fuck me Alex (loud and staccato reapeated about 4 or 5 more time)Then Chong wakes up. He has a cramp, and says so out loud. He starts grunting and stuff and moving around erratically in the van trying to work out his cramp. The van, my friends, is a-rockin' and the woman is still just chillin', brushing her hair and telling this story. She's getting louder and wilder sounding though.
yeah, yeah oh, yeah, oh yeah (repeated many times). But she's like this - she'd do this...oh yeah, oh yeah (repeated many times and then winds it down like she's finished up an amazing orgasm)...and then she'd have like 2 tears runnin' down her face...At that point, Chong's cramp subsides, and he gets out of the van. All the people in the line cheer like wild.
So the complication I mentioned with my assessment is that during Jade's story, people outside the van begin to hear what's going on and think that some crazy wild, highly orgasmic sex is going on. They cheer Chong when he comes out, so this whole joke is done with the understanding that the fake sounds Jade is making (as a way to make fun of another woman's craziness) are still taken as real and as an indication to the crowd outside of what a bad-ass lover the dude inside the van must be. So, it's complicated. Does the crowd's misunderstanding of the situation point out to the audience how ridiculous it is that these over-exaggerated orgasm shows seen in things like porn are taken so seriously? Or does it just add one more instance of an exaggerated porn-gasm for audiences to un-critically take in as possible way women might orgasm. It's probably the latter, but I don't feel I can hold Up in Smoke to that too harshly. In the end, it was just a joke, and it was at least partially based on making fun of the porn-gasm.
I'll give Up in Smoke a very wishy-washy 3 vulva rating.