2760.jpgWith the Tribeca Film Festival just a week away, this is the first in a series of previews of the films we're excited to see.

With Dude, Where's My Car? and Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, Danny Liener has made two marvels of moden stoner-comic science. I think it's dangerous to overlook the genius of Harold and Kumar, so I almost don't even want to say that Leiner's new film finds him "branching out", or "showing his range." But it's undeniable that The Great New Wonderful is a very different beast. The film, a dark comic-drama set in New York, interweaves five stories into a rubric of post-9/11 anxiety. Maggie Gyllenhall and Edie Falco are rival cake-decorators; Tony Shaloub is a therapist; two Bollywood veterans (Naseeruddin Shah and Sharat Saxena) play security guards. Their stories don't directly intersect but meet under the unspoken cloud of terror. Logan Hill, in a rapturous commentary in New York magazine, calls it "the first great film about 9/11" - although, frankly, I can't think of another *good* film about 9/11. But let's hope The Great New Wonderful is the film that proves that I've been right about Leiner all along: we cannot underestimate the man who used the quest for the perfect munchie to recontextualize the American Dream.