Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Miss March (Unrated)
Okay, I will be the first to admit it: this movie looks stupid. Really, really stupid. Like, Scary Epic American Pie Movie Film 4.25 stupid. And yet, after watching previews for this movie, something inside me said "Well, it might not be so bad." Don't get me wrong...this movie hits the stupid button like it's a whack-a-mole game. I still laughed. Why? Because I find some things funny, jerks.
The premise is pretty weak, I'll admit. Eugene (Zach Cregger) has been abstinent throughout high school, but his girlfriend, Cindi (Raquel Alessi), has finally talked him into having sex after their senior prom. Nervous and not very sure about his decision, Eugene looks to his best friend, Tucker (Trevor Moore), for advice. His advice is to do some shots of whiskey. Drunk and confident, Eugene leaves his friend to finally lose his virginity...but opens the wrong door, falls down some stairs, and ends up in a coma instead. Four years later, Eugene finally wakes up from his coma, only to find that his family has moved out of state and his girlfriend is MIA. The only friend that stuck around is Tucker, who has modeled his entire life after the model set by Hugh Hefner and Playboy magazine. Thanks to his Playboy subscription, Tucker realizes where Cindi has gone; she's the centerfold in the March issue! And to think, I assumed nothing would ever reference the movie's title! The two friends make the only logical conclusion they can: they must take a road trip to the Playboy Mansion so Eugene can find Cindi and Tucker can fulfill his lifelong dream of visiting the Mansion.
If you think that the premise is just a sad excuse to make as many tasteless jokes as possible, you aren't completely wrong. There's a lot of dumb, gross jokes here. Honestly, a lot of the jokes are borderline for me. If they were delivered or written just a little differently, I probably would have hated half of this movie. Luckily, Zach Cregger and Trevor Moore (who both co-directed and co-wrote the film) are masters of walking the line between stupid-funny and stupid-annoying. These two are (only slightly) better known as part of the Whitest Kids U' Know comedy troupe. If you have the opportunity, check them out; they are punchline-based sketch comedy (like my hilarious friends in Big Dog Eat Child), and are more than willing to be really, really stupid for the sake of a joke.
The characters are pretty basic here; Eugene and Tucker are just opposites as a sensitive virgin and a sex-crazed egomaniac. The supporting characters are just as basic. The girlfriends don't do a whole lot; Tucker's girlfriend, Candace (Molly Stanton) gives a solid performance as a crazy girl and Raquel Alessi isn't required to do much more than be pretty as the title character. Only Craig Robinson's performance as rapper Horsedick.mpeg moves beyond a broad stereotype into the realm of complete ridiculousness. As Robinson's character's name might indicate, this is still a stupid, stupid movie. Aside from that, there are a couple of aggressively sexual lesbians, crazy firemen, some random sluts, and (of course) Hugh Hefner himself. This is actually the best movie I have seen Hefner in, barely edging out The Toxic Avenger IV: Citizen Toxie. I'm not criticizing the supporting cast, mind you. They exist as fodder for jokes, and they do the job they were hired to do. Who should hang out on Hosedick.mpeg's tour bus? Whores? Done. Who do you want to play insatiable lesbian lovers? Two hot chicks that are willing to do nudity? Double done! Who should play a bit role as a doctor? Cedric Yarbrough? Excellent choice, my friends.
Believe it or not, a movie with a character named Hosedick.mpeg has some offensive jokes. Most notably, this movie has some disgusting bathroom humor (I'd say it's the best of its kind since Dumb and Dumber) and has two odd running gags, one at the expense of epileptics and another aimed at firemen. I guess the epileptic and fireman gags aren't really offensive so much as they are snowball jokes; they start out only kind of funny, but get better as the movie goes on. Another one of those is the T-shirt that Eugene ends up wearing for the entire movie. It's a dumb, cheap laugh, but it's never referenced again, which helps undercut the movie's supposedly sincere moments. You might notice something odd when Eugene is being talked into sex by his girlfriend at the beginning of the movie; I don't know if the theatrical version has this, but the dialogue is dubbed over in parts. I did a little research and found that they replaced the word "retard" with "crackhead." That was what went over the line for the producers. Not a black man called Horsedick (dot-mpeg!). I guess that's what they refer to as a "judgment call."
It's difficult to write a review for a comedy that actually makes people want to watch the movie. You don't want to describe the jokes in detail. The plot and acting are both going to be, almost necessarily, universally poor. All that really matters is the writing, timing, and delivery. In those three important areas, this film delivers. Sure, Miss March has gotten scathing reviews across the board. Yes, Hugh Hefner was nominated for a Razzie award for his supporting role. I think those critics missed the point. This was never going to be that romantic comedy with heart that will function as a date movie. It's not a coming of age tale (not really) that has an out-of-left-field emotional ending, like most sex comedies. These characters do grow a little, but not much. Instead, this movie goes for the funny. Sometimes, they swing and miss. Badly. Like, corkscrew into the ground badly. But, once it gets you laughing, you will find even the stupidest moments endearing. Or, at the very least, you will feel smarter than the characters. Still not sure if this movie is for you? Check out some Whitest Kids U'Know clips on youtube.