Potpics, as a genre of film, have covered a lot of ground - from big budget hits like Pineapple Express, to modern classics like The Big Lebowski, to cult comedies like How High (one of my personal favorites). But there’s a little gem from across the pond that you may not have heard of, and I’d like to share it with y’all now. It’s one of the most charming weed movies out there and a great example of everything it takes to make a cannaclassic.
Saving Grace tells the story of a widowed English gardener, Grace Trevethyn, whose late husband leaves her with a pile of debt after jumping out of an airplane. To add insult to injury, his mistress (whom Grace was aware of but had never met) shows up at his funeral and starts lurking around the small, coastal village where Grace lives. A few months after her husband’s death, Grace is depressed, purposeless, and about to lose her house.
That’s important, because every great potpic needs to illustrate the healing properties of cannabis. You either need a protagonist who’s well-versed in smoking weed and finally finds a way to make that work for a greater cause, or you need a total novice who is able to solve all the problems in their life with weed. Saving Grace is an example of the latter. Grace uses her gardening prowess to grow substantial amounts of the most potent marijuana known to science in an attempt to raise enough money to pay back the bank, keep her house, and stop her husband’s duplicity from determining her fate. Along the way, she has to keep her neighbors from catching on to her scheme and navigate the seedy underbelly of London’s cannabis black market.
Another crucial potpic element is the initiation scene. At some point, every great weed film has to feature someone getting high for the very first time. Grace and her Scottish landscaper go out to the cliffs above their beach and share a joint. Like many novitiates, Grace doesn’t feel anything at first. Then the giggling begins. The scene is a little subtle, tailored more for an older audience than films like Half Baked or Fast Times, but it’s mirrored by an incredible, over-the-top sequence towards the end when Grace’s megaweed is unleashed on the townspeople. True hilarity ensues as we see the classic caricature of being high splayed out across geriatric English gardening enthusiasts.
And, of course, every potpic needs a villain. Very few of the drug dealers I’ve ever met seem like the type to feed henchmen to piranhas or collect human skulls or any of the other Bond-villain antics that characterize the Big Bads in weed films. For whatever reason, these movies always set up the major local distributor as a terrifying psychopath who gets inexplicably focused on destroying the ragtag group of protagonists, most of whom should never even be on the radar of a criminal enterprise of such stature and sadism. In Saving Grace’s case, the pot kingpin is a French version of the Dos Exes man who likes to menacingly fish for rubber duckies in kiddie pools and who is shadowed by a switchblade-wielding goon. They can’t decide whether to buy Grace’s stock or kill her and take it.
There are moments of real emotional depth, as a woman questions the domestic life she’s led and whether there’s still time to take command of her destiny.
But perhaps what makes Saving Grace so special is what it leaves out. The soundtrack is notably restrained, devoid of any reggae or rap, which would feel out of place in the rural English setting. The pacing is relaxed, letting Grace arrive at her criminal plan as though it were the only natural thing to do in her circumstance. Not every scene is a quotable mash-up of juvenile one-liners. There are moments of real emotional depth, as a woman questions the domestic life she’s led and whether there’s still time to take command of her destiny.
So next time you’re looking to get high watching a movie about people getting high, consider Saving Grace . It has all the accents and wit you’d expect from British cinema, plus all the desirable elements of a solid potpic.
And just as an aside, this week marks the anniversary of the new GRAV.com. We started fulfilling orders directly to our end users in mid September of 2017, and it’s been an incredible experience so far. We look forward to a record-smashing holiday season, servicing international customers in the year ahead, and growing the value of our pipes and services. Much thanks and love to all of you who’ve participated.