6.4/10
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26 user 27 critic

Humboldt County (2008)

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A disillusioned medical student is stranded for a summer in a remote community of counterculture pot farmers, the last place in the world he imagined he would discover himself.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeremy Strong ... Peter
Fairuza Balk ... Bogart
Peter Bogdanovich ... Professor Hadley
Vicky Monroe Vicky Monroe ... Sondra
Tarek Zohdy ... Medical Student
Lawrence Bridges ... Man in Bathroom
John Murdock John Murdock ... Jazz Club Bassist
Lenny Pettinelli Lenny Pettinelli ... Jazz Club Pianist
B. Swislo B. Swislo ... Jazz Club Drummer
Brad Dourif ... Jack
Frances Conroy ... Rosie
Madison Davenport ... Charity
Chris Messina ... Max
Geoffrey Robinson Geoffrey Robinson ... Earl (as Geoffrey 'Lizard' Robinson)
Darren Grodsky ... Bob
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Storyline

Peter is burned out: finishing med school at UCLA, failing the bedside manner class his father teaches, no sleep in days. He spends the night with Bogart, a woman he's just met, and the next day, sleepily gets in her car. He wakes up in Arcata, where Bogart's foster family lives in the woods: Max, his daughter, mom, and step dad. They grow marijuana for their own consumption, except for Max, who has planted six hidden patches for one big score. Bogart hates pot farming - feds are on constant patrol - so she splits, leaving Peter to depend on Max for a ride to the bus. A day stretches into two, and Peter puts off leaving. A reckoning with his dad is inevitable: is Peter's rebirth possible? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bus | school | farming | class | student | See All (159) »

Taglines:

Welcome to the Lost Coast See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug content and language throughout | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 September 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Costa Perdida See more »

Filming Locations:

Arcata, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$25,933, 28 September 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$81,364, 2 November 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Embark Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[first lines]
Bogart: [in doctor's office] When I came home from the clinic everyone was asleep. Normally they'd hear my truck. We live in the middle of nowhere, so... I parked it about a half a mile down the road and I walked home, but my boyfriend heard. He hears everything. When he came in to see what was wrong, I just tried to pretend to be asleep. But I couldn't hold it in, and I started to cry.
Peter: Go on...
Bogart: Sorry. I was balling my eyes out, and uh, he held me. And I wished... I wished I hadn't done it....
[...]
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Soundtracks

I Want You To Be My Baby
Performed by Fairuza Balk
Composed by Jon Hendricks (ASCAP)
Published by Hendricks Music, Inc. (ASCAP) c/o Music Sales Corporation (ASCAP)
Produced by Paul Bessenbacher & Matthew Bowen
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User Reviews

 
Big hearted movie about what gives life it's value
13 April 2009 | by cpbadgemanSee all my reviews

The previews for this film make it look like a formulaic Square-among-Freaks stoner comedy about an uptight medical student who falls in with a bunch of potheads and discovers What Really Matters in the process. Up to a point that is exactly how "Humboldt County" plays out. However, that is not the whole story either.

To briefly summarize the plot: a repressed, emotionally muted young man- with the people skills of a lawnmower- fails one of his med school finals (BTW his father is the examiner-Ouch!) and is suddenly adrift in his life for what is apparently the first time ever. He has an unlikely hookup with an attractive, free spirit named Bogart (Fairuza Balk) and accompanies her to her home in the title county up in the far north of California. Bogart then disappears and Peter, completely stranded, is slowly but surely absorbed by her eccentric, stoner family and their equally baked friends and neighbors. Exposed to their initially alien values, lifestyle, and worldview- and away from his overbearing father- Peter finds the freedom and safety to actually start being himself. However, the dark side of the drug world (in the form of violent thieves and the DEA) is never far away and it threatens to destroy Peter's refuge...

Even though there is a lot of pot smoked by nearly all of the characters, this is not really a stoner movie. Much of the humor is low-key but there are some absolutely hilarious moments along the way.The film's view of marijuana is actually rather realistic, it's pleasurable effects are shown but so are the downsides- particularly with regard to the violence and legal problems that accompany cultivation. Additionally, it is made clear that being born into the rustic stoner life, for all of it's freedoms, can be as much of a prison as the middle-class existence that was suffocating Peter at the film's beginning.

"Humboldt County" is really all about how somebody discovers the things that are truly going to touch their heart and give their life meaning. The various characters represent the different paths that people choose in order to find a sense of connection to others and a purpose to their existence. The characters are very human, and all the more lovable for that.The ensemble cast are excellent and their interactions with other seem touchingly real. However special mention should go to Brad Dourif as the stoner clan's patriarch.

The film preaches the values of simplicity, humility, how materialism is meaningless, the importance of caring for others, and recognizing how small individuals are in the bigger scheme of things. It is also very honest about the reality that, for adults, there are fewer and fewer easy answers to any of life's questions. An added bonus is the setting, Humboldt county looks absolutely gorgeous and is filmed with deep love. In conclusion, this is a funny, serenely paced slice of cinema that has a big, beautiful heart.


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