From Mr. Destructo:
Early in the film, we’re subjected to another manifestation of Smith’s pretension. A comic book fan describes Holden’s comic Bluntman and Chronic as “Bill and Ted meets Cheech and Chong” to which Holden replies, “I kinda like to think of them as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern meet Vladamir and Estragon.” Thus Holden (read Smith) proves his masterful knowledge of literature without actually showing why this particular analogy has any meaning other than as a pathetic namedrop of works he almost certainly doesn’t understand. Compare this to Linklater’s Slacker, where he references James Joyce’s Ulysses. Because Slacker shares many of the same themes of Ulysses — aimless modern wandering, layperson curiosity about ideas, finding the heroic in the banal — and because its form resembles the “Wandering Rocks” chapter of the book, bringing it up inside the film feels organic and relevant.
Smith perhaps anticipated the comic style of shows like Family Guy while also missing any of the necessary self-aware irony. He consistently alludes to other fragments of pop-culture, hoping to infuse his own work with the collective nostalgia/humor/pathos of his reference. From DeGrassi Jr. High to Star Wars, the entirety of Smith’s allusive capability seems to be, “Hey, remember this? Yeah, me too. Cool, huh?” Most obnoxiously, he also repeatedly refers back to his own creations, attempting to shoehorn them into the pop-cultural conversation as shared hallmarks of events or ideas on par with the other works he namedrops.
Yet, aside from the token presence of Hooper X, all of our characters are upper-middle class white bourgeoisie, entrenched in their first-world problems.
There’s that phrase again.