The working title of this sex comedy written, directed and starring two lads from the Independent Film Channel sketch show The Whitest Kids U’ Know was Miss February. The month is irrelevant; Miss March would be a dog no matter where it fell on the calendar. In their first big-screen outing, multi-hyphenates Zach Cregger and Trevor Moore don’t do themselves or the hyphens proud, dropping the balls (pun intended) on both sides of the camera. By rights, The Last House on the Left should trounce its fellow restricted release. Choosing between watching a brutal rape and this unfunny business is a no-brainer.
The remake of Wes Craven’s horror/thriller features the lethal deployment of kitchen appliances. Although the similarity ends there, Miss March contains a scene in which Moore’s character, Tucker, forks his girlfriend’s face while she’s fellating him. He was unaware that turning on a disco light would trigger her epilepsy. Tucker’s best friend Eugene (Cregger) is a clean-cut high schooler who gives abstinence talks to teens in tandem with his girlfriend Cindi (Raquel Alessi). She decides she wants to go all the way on prom night, but before they do the deed he falls down a flight of stairs and into a coma. Four years later he’s jolted awake only to discover his muscles have atrophied, Tucker is still a numbskull pervert, and Cindi is a Playboy centerfold. Without allowing Eugene time to gain control of his bodily functions, the pals travel cross-country to the Playboy mansion in LA so he can finally lose his virginity. Giving chase are Tucker’s girlfriend and her firefighter brother.
Even if the film was set circa 1986 (which it’s not), the premise is less fresh than the contents of Eugene’s bowels. Who “reads” Playboy anymore? Do girls still aspire to appear in the mag? Do celebs still want to hang at the mansion? Hef’s empire is reportedly teetering and his willingness to participate in the film—he has a lengthy cameo—is a lagging indicator of distress. The appearance of 2007 Playmate of the Year Sara Jean Underwood, as herself, carries its own dangers since the stiff blond nearly upstages Cregger and Moore. Their acting is as inauspicious as their writing is witless and their directing inept. The pale picture could do with some airbrushing.
By stringing together a series of sub-par skits, Cregger and Moore threaten to give crude sketch comedy a bad name. The absence of their three TV cohorts is certainly telling, yet more revealing is the fact that during the film’s latter stages I started to hope Eugene would have another bout of diarrhea. It’s not a good sign when you believe more shit could only help. Credit goes to the make-up artists for the job they did on the genitalia of Eugene and Tucker’s rapper pal Horsedick.MPEG (Craig Robinson). Now don’t get excited or enroll in the Robinson fan club—even if his outsized performance has energy to recommend it—it’s a sight gag, yet the only satisfyingly outrageous moment in Miss March.
At the end of the movie, there’s a tear running down Hef’s cheek. His philosophy of finding the bunny inside every woman provides the requisite schmaltz but can’t stop you from wishing the plug had been pulled on this excruciating effort. Put another way, spying Tucker holding a pooch at the mansion, a cheery pin-up shrieks, “I love men with dogs!” In that case, she must have fallen head over heals with Zach Cregger and Trevor Moore. Incidentally, don’t those names sound made-up, like they belong to characters in an infantile sex comedy?
Cast: Zach Cregger, Trevor Moore, Craig Robinson, Raquel Alessi, Molly Stanton, Cedric Yarbrough and Hugh M. Hefner
Directors/Screenwriters: Zach Cregger and Trevor Moore
Producers: Tom Jacobson, Steven J. Wolfe, Tobie Haggerty, and Vincent Cirrincione
Rating: R for strong crude and sexual content, nudity, pervasive language and some drug use.
Running time: 91 min
Release date: March 13, 2009