In “High Road,” a new indie improved comedy film making the festival rounds, James F. Pumphrey (above) plays a dude with some problems — like having to choose between his pregnant girlfriend and selling weed.
A couple things set “High Road” apart from the average stoner movie. First, there’s the idea that marijuana might, you know, harsh it’s own buzz, if you catch our drift. Then, there’s the fact that the cast — including Lizzy Caplan, Ed Helms, Abby Elliott, Horatio Sanz and Pumphrey — improvised most of the dialogue.
“It’s loosely based on a guy I knew in Chicago who was a part-time pot dealer and, luckily, phased that out of his life because he was headed in a dangerous direction,” director Matt Walsh tells Pop2it.
“The movie itself had like 65 scenes that were scripted from a screenplay that I’d written with my friend Josh Weiner,” he continues. “And then the actors approached those plot points with whatever words they chose.”
“It generated a lot of comedy that certainly wasn’t in our minds when we wrote it.”
Horatio Sanz, who plays a doctor in the movie, says he felt right at home with the improv.
“I’m more comfy inventing lines than learning them,” Sanz said.
Both Walsh and Sanz were aware of Wednesday’s (April 20) special status (420 Day) for the weed-loving community. Walsh plans to celebrate online in a live video show with friend Matt Besser.
As for Sanz? “When people would come up to me and say, ‘hey 4/20 right?'” he quipped. “I thought they were trying to guess my weight.”