CHEECH & CHONG'S NICE DREAMS -- AMC Academy, Crofton Cinema, NTI Annandale, NTI Arlington, NTI Landover Mall, NTL Marlow, NTI Springfield Cinema, NTI White Flint, Roth's Tysons Corner, Showcase Beacon Mall, Showcase Fair City Mall. Tenley Circle and Wheaton Plaza.

People who like Cheech and Chong are going to see their latest "Nice Dreams," no matter what they hear about it. The fans of this Laurel and Hardy of counterculture know what they can expect to see, and they begin to laugh in anticipation as soon as the duo appears on the screen.

The nice thing about "Nice Dreams" is that, if you can live with a little raunchiness, it's fun, and it's funnier than C&C's "Next Movie," their second movie after "Up in Smoke": the humor doesn't rely so completely on old jokes about the drug culture. Cheech and Chong are bawdy, they're unself-consciously irreverent, and if any idiocy can happen, it will happen to them. So naturally people enjoy watching them.

The story is about two men who sell "Happy Herbs" from an ice cream truck and the narcotic squad's attempts to snare them on their hapless way. Loosely, leading the cops in Sarge, played by a laid-back Stacy Keach, who whispers his motto to himself: "The only way to catch a doper is when you yourself become a doper."

Along the way Cheech and Chong have made a fortune -- $17 million. Their first outlay is a meal in a Chinese restaurant, where Cheech's old girlfriend Donna (Evelyn Guerrero) undulates in on the arm of Howie Hamburger Dude (Paul Reubens). When Donna gets the urge to display her tattoo, pandemonium erupts. Both actors have been in Cheech and Chong movies before. Reubens plays a bizarre musician in a dowdy brown jacket who laments the future of rock'n'roll ("Springsteen's ruinging everything"); chants tauntingly, "New Wave. New Wave," and is likely to ask at any moment, "Would you care for a hamburger?" Exact for his spaced-out smile, Reubens looks a lot like Talking Heads' David Byrne and he's just as fascinating to watch.

Much to Cheech's dismay, Chong trusts everyone, including the Hamburger Dude, and even cashes his check -- for $17 million. Not only does it make you laugh, it makes you want to send out for lobster Cantonese.