Los Enchiladas

Comedian Mitch Hedberg’s reputation has grown since his early death in 2005, and it’ll take you just a couple of YouTube clips to fall in love with his absurdist, stoner genius. Before he left us, however, he managed to write and direct a single film- Los Enchiladas– which screened at Sundance in 1999, and only a few times since.

Like so many low-budget comedies made by White dudes in their 20’s, Los Enchiladas is pretty much sophomoric stoner humor for other White dudes, though this unofficial screening copy feels more like a student film than anything polished or final. At its best, the film hits with the same underplayed absurdity as Hedberg’s best jokes- mostly, observations about tiny details in modern American middle class life that probably hit you best when you’re high. At its worst, it’s kinda dumb, but innocuously so.

Los Enchiladas is no Clerks– another low-budget 90’s comedy that one is tempted to dismiss until one watches several other low-budget comedies that are painfully unfunny- but it’s still a fun ride. A lot of that is due to the friends Hedberg managed to cajole into roles, most notably Todd Barry, Dave Attell, and Marc Maron- who easily steals the show with the funniest scene in the whole film playing a menu writer with grandiose literary aspirations.

If there’s an underlying theme at play here, it’s the ennui that millions of 20-somethings feel growing up in small towns and suburbs all over this country, wishing for more out of life, but not really knowing how to leave the only home they’ve ever known. Hedberg’s advice is to just go; the road will take you where you need to be. As a philosophical statement, Los Enchiladas isn’t exactly Buddhist wisdom, but as a historical document of this stand-up comedy generation’s roots, it’s priceless.


One thought on “Los Enchiladas

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s