As Jamie travels in Chile, he invites an eccentric woman to join his group's quest to score a fabled hallucinogen, a move that finds him at odds with his new companion, until they drink the magic brew on a beach at the edge of the desert.
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Jamie (Cera) is a boorish, insensitive American twentysomething traveling in Chile, who somehow manages to create chaos at every turn. He and his friends are planning on taking a road trip north to experience a legendary shamanistic hallucinogen called the San Pedro cactus. In a fit of drunkenness at a wild party, Jamie invites an eccentric woman -- a radical spirit named Crystal Fairy (Hoffmann) -- to come along. What is meant to be a devil-may-care journey becomes a battle of wills as Jamie finds himself locking horns with his new traveling companion. But on a remote, pristine beach at the edge of the desert, the magic brew is finally imbibed, and the true adventure begins. Written by
Michael Cera is Jamie, an American traveler in Chile who plans a road trip with his friends to indulge in a legendary hallucinogen, the San Pedro cactus. While drunk at a party, Jamie invites an eccentric, radical spirit named Crystal Fairy, played by Gaby Hoffmann. When Jamie's insensitive, controlling, impatient, selfish nature is revealed it conflicts with Crystal Fairy, making what was suppose to be a care-free adventure into an uncomfortable journey for everyone.
Michael Cera and Gaby Hoffmann are both very brave for taking on these characters, who are in perfect contrast with one another. The result is excellent performances of well-written characters. Unfortunately the film is going to attract audiences looking for a drug-fueled adventure in the vein of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, not a character-driven comedy lacking any real laugh-out-loud moments. The film is played almost too serious to be any fun, though there is depth.
Writer/director Sebastián Silva proved his powers as a serious filmmaker with Magic Magic, which also starred Cera and was released earlier this year. Other than having Cera in lead roles, the only thing the two films share in common is an abrupt ending that will either leave you haunted or irritated. While Magic Magic is an effective psychological horror film, Crystal Fairy is a thought-provoking character study poorly marketed as an adventure comedy.
Crystal Fairy and The Magical Cactus isn't a bad film but it does fail as a comedy. As for the adventure, the credits begin to roll too soon after the film gets interesting. This will annoy more than it will amuse or enlighten.
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