AFI #84: Easy Rider

I think I know why Baby Boomers voted this film into the top 100 — they were clearly stoned when they watched it and everything seems more interesting when you are high (or so I’ve been told). Easy Rider is so typical of the 60s in that it was friggin overrated! I couldn’t believe how awful this film was after believing the hype that it was some kind of mystical representation of the 60s counterculture. I call bullshit.

This is how the film is billed: Two counterculture bikers travel from Los Angeles to New Orleans in search of America. I don’t think they were searching for America at all. No, they weren’t searching for anything, rather they were just riding their choppers to New Orleans. Along the way they meet some other hippies, they pick up a confused lawyer, then — spoiler alert — everyone gets killed. The most unbelievable part is that even though the characters barely spoke in the film (and when they did they said “dude” and “groovy” a lot) the film was nominated for an Oscar in 1969 for best screenplay. Clearly the Academy voters were stoned as well. Seriously, I understand the 60s were a time for dropping out and experimenting with drugs and all that counterculture crap — but this flick was anything but groovy dude. If you remember liking it, try seeing it again without the influence of drugs and I’m sure you’ll agree with me that it’s much ado about nothing.

Next Up: Titanic