Kevin Smith’s Yoga Hosers is a spin-off to his previous film Tusk and the second in what he has dubbed the “True North” trilogy.
The plot is a fairly simple one and plays to Smith’s strengths as a storyteller. He follows two main characters who live a relatively mundane life until something more fantastical interrupts it. Shades of his roots in Clerks and other work can be seen here in the two Colleens (Lily-Rose Depp and Smith’s daughter Harley-Quinn Smith). They sit around at work spewing pop culture references while spending all of their time on their phones updating the world with what they’re up to through social media. It’s almost a modernisation of the Clerks concept and it works really well here.
The two Colleens are brilliant together. Smith and Depp have a natural chemistry that practically leaps off the screen and their comic timing is near perfect. Throughout the film they act as one being and are seldom apart which really works as a pair of teenage girls who define themselves by their friendship as well as their ties to the celebrity world that they desperately want to be a part of. Instead of living life they essentially live it vicariously through gossip columns and social media. It’s a very modern commentary on teenagers and how isolated they can be because of social media. There’s a comic irony to that idea and it comes through clearly in this film.
Yoga Hosers takes the time to completely suck you into its world and comes across as hyper-real right from the opening minutes. on-screen text gives us “essential” information about every character we meet in a social media context. It’s simple, easily digestible and such pointless information that it doesn’t matter. The opening minutes of the film set the tone perfectly and it completely sticks to it.
In terms of comedy there are a lot of great laughs here. I’ve already mentioned the comedic abilities of the lead actresses but Johnny Depp brings his A-Game here and Justin Long is great in his small role as the intellectual property rights violator Yogi Bayer. Ralph Garman’s pop culture impression spewing villain provides plenty of laughs as well. I definitely laughed a lot in this movie and it’s down to a sharp self aware script as well as the excellent performances.
The entire film is very self indulgent. Smith casts his daughter in the lead, gives his friends roles and basically tells the story that he wants to tell. Self indulgent passion projects can go either way but thankfully this works. It boasts a self aware quality that helps carry the film. I even enjoyed the various digs at critics and the old references that the young characters didn’t understand. Is the great geek Kevin Smith growing as a storyteller to the point where he feels that the references he has built his career on are somewhat dated in the modern setting?
Judging by this film it feels like he might be starting to admit to that but he also understands that tastes move on and none of the young characters are pining for nostalgic content that took place before they were born. Times have moved on and there are signs that Kevin Smith has too.
The only issue I had with the film is that the villain story takes a little too long to happen. When it does it is treated with a light touch but for the most part it sits in the background and rapidly picks up speed before being quickly resolved. It’s a testament to how well the rest of the film is working to have the actual story take a back seat and have that not be a problem. The whole thing can just suck you in as long as you’re willing to roll with it.
An excellent and hilarious experience with a great script and equally great performances. Harley Quinn Smith and Lily-Rose Depp do an exceptional job in the lead roles; showcasing natural chemistry and near perfect comic timing. The script in general is hilarious and packed with pop culture references for the younger crowd as well as the older crowd. It’s a film that sucks you into its world as long as you’re willing to go with it.
- excellent performances from the two leads
- a hilarious script
- an endearing self-awareness to everything
- a villain story that takes a little too long to happen