Netflix Reveals Celebrities’ Wildest Drug Trips, From Anthony Bourdain to Carrie Fisher – The Daily Beast

Posted: May 10, 2020 at 5:50 am

For everyone forced by the COVID-19 pandemic into quarantineeither by themselves or with a select few loved onesNetflix has become a vital means of (temporary) escape from reality. As if to enhance that role, the streaming service has now become a de facto advocate of traveling not outdoors but inward, via two offerings that directly target the psychedelic crowd: first, Pendleton Ward and Duncan Trussells trippy animated affair The Midnight Gospel, and now Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics, a documentary that investigates the varied experiences celebrities have had on acid, mushrooms and other hallucinogensand the potentially therapeutic role they might one day play.

That latter angle comes courtesy of Dr. Charles Grob, a professor of psychiatry at UCLA who believes that there are many conceivable benefits to using psychedelics to treat individuals suffering from depression, anxiety, PTSD and other similar ailments. The fact that the FDA has recently approved studies along those lines suggests that Grob isnt simply a counterculture outlier. Nonetheless, Have a Good Trip is at its dullest when attempting to make an actual argument for the societal benefits of mind-altering substances; no matter how promising their medicinal qualities may or may not be, the primary value of these drugs is the hysterically whacked-out stories that result from their consumption.

And thankfully, writer/director Donick Carys film has those in spades.

Premiering on Netflix on May 11, Have a Good Trip revolves around a series of interviews with well-known stars whove all tuned in and dropped out at one point in their lives, be it Ben Stiller, Natasha Lyonne, Sarah Silverman, Beastie Boys Adam Horovitz, Marc Maron, Paul Scheer, Rob Corddry, David Cross or My Morning Jackets Jim James. For some, like A$AP Rocky, who saw A rainbow shot out of my dick during sex on acid, the experience was euphoric and enlightening. For others, it was less sofor example, Rosie Perez, who was surreptitiously dosed at a crowded dance club and wound up losing her shirt while backstroking along a cascading wooden floor, and then merging with her bedroom mattress.

The traumatic and the riotous are often one and the same in these tales, as is generally true for those journeying through psychotropic realms. Thus, theres no better summation of this non-fiction inquirys outlook than that provided by Nick Offerman, whoappearing as an educational video-style laboratory scientiststates, Dont get me wrong, drugs can be dangerous. But they can also be hilarious.

Director Cary dramatizes his speakers anecdotes with Drunk History-esque recreations starring other notable comedians, and his films funniest accounts come from its two now-deceased participants: Anthony Bourdain and Carrie Fisher. The former recounts a Hunter S. Thompson-inspired road trip with a friend in which they picked up two beautiful hitchhikers, partied like crazy in a motel room, and then freaked out when one of the two women suddenly ODd before their very eyesonly to magically awaken a few moments later, behaving as if nothing had happened. For Fisher, meanwhile, an afternoon at the beach during her Star Wars heyday turned sour when, while tripping, she was photographed by a group of Japanese touristsall of whom got snapshots of Princess Leia zonked out of her mind and, like Perez, topless.

Have a Good Trips goofy formal flourishes dont end with those reenactments, all of which are prefaced by swirly-colored title cards. Shouting out to the 1980s, a corny LSD Afterschool Special hosted by Adam Scott imagines a Bad Trip by a bunch of high-schoolers (including Haley Joel Osment and Maya Erskine), while The More You Trip segments educate viewers on the dos and donts of tripping. Those lessons involve the need to control your set and setting, and to avoid driving and looking into mirrorsadvice that goes hand-in-hand with other handy tips about how best to handle a hallucinatory reverie, such as making sure you dont do so when in a negative frame of mind, since acid, mushrooms and the like enhance unhealthy thoughts and emotions to possibly unnerving degrees.

Further embellishments include animation for sequences like Stings recollection of a deer blood-soaked Mexican peyote trip, and stuffy archival videos from the United States Navy about the dangers of LSD. The film has a cartoonish everything-and-the-kitchen-sink aesthetic approach that keeps the proceedings lighthearted, save for when Dr. Grob or Deepak Chopra appear to provide some drugs-are-actually-useful blather. Have a Good Trip makes a far more convincing case for the acceptability of acid and mushrooms through its loony celebrity commentary, which underlines thatcontrary to common scare-tactic wisdomsuch drugs are less apt to make you jump out a second-floor window than simply lead you on a crazed adventure thats only as dangerous as you allow it to be.

It does demystify these drugs, casting them as consciousness-altering elements that are frequently great fun, occasionally big-time bummers, but always far from the insanity-inducing menace theyve been thought of by the public at large.

Consequently, Stings ruminations on how psychedelics help him forge connections with himself, his loved ones and the universe are ultimately far less impactful than absurdist bits such as Nick Kroll being covered in kelp by his friends and then running around a beach pretending to be a Kelp Monster. Have a Good Trip doesnt take its subject matter lightly, exactlyThe Grateful Deads Bill Kreutzmann wisely cautions against dosing others without their knowledge, and A$AP Rocky is upfront about the fact that he doesnt encourage everyone to give psychedelics a try, because some simply arent cut out for them. Yet through its raft of narratives, it does demystify these drugs, casting them as consciousness-altering elements that are frequently great fun, occasionally big-time bummers, but always far from the insanity-inducing menace theyve been thought of by the public at large.

Does this mean Have a Good Trip will encourage those who are on the fence to give acid or mushrooms a try? Possibly. But the real fun of Carys documentary is the vicarious thrill that comes from hearing how others fared, for good or ill, while tripping their balls off in less-than-ideal circumstances. Although watching it while under the influence will no doubt also be amusingif, that is, such hallucinating viewers can first manage to stop staring intensely at their hands.

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Netflix Reveals Celebrities' Wildest Drug Trips, From Anthony Bourdain to Carrie Fisher - The Daily Beast

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