Note: The majority of this review is taken from my theatrical review of Miss March, although it's been revised to reflect my opinion of the film having viewed it a second time.
Miss March is a really stupid movie. Written, directed by and starring "two of 'The Whitest Kids U Know'", it's meandering, disgusting, amateurish and cheap-looking. It also made me laugh a couple of times. Not quite enough to recommend, but admittedly, having seen it in theaters and again on DVD, it plays better at home, without its thinly written, extremely broad antics blown up 25 feet tall. Mainly, Miss March wants to be a full-on cartoon-level farce, but every time it ramps up for some serious lunacy, it falls back lazily into a poop or dick joke, or a combination of both.
Eugene Bell (Zach Cregger, looking vaguely like Norm MacDonald) is a high school abstinence lecturer. His best friend, Tucker Cleigh (Trevor Moore), is a notorious horndog who every girl in school has a venomous death wish for. Eugene hasn't gone all the way with his girlfriend Cindi (Raquel Alessi), because he believes every word of his "wait-until-marriage" seminars, but she puts the pressure on him to do the deed after prom night, and Eugene agrees. Unfortunately, Tucker provides Eugene with one too many shots, and Eugene rises from a coma four years later to discover that Cindi's gone from his after-school co-host to posing for Playboy. Soon, the pair are off on an adventure that includes angry firemen, horny Russian lesbians, and Playboy bunnies.
I read the synopsis for Miss March on a website a month or so before I saw the trailer, and I thought it sounded like a great idea. Of course, writer/directors Cregger and Moore don't care about the story, but surprisingly, the script does manage to feel plot driven (albeit in the simplest way possible) rather than coming off like a collection of sketches. The pair's main problem is not using time effectively: a scene at a gas station eats up ten minutes of screen time in an already-short movie, and the film's third act is where "plot-driven" falls apart (scenes at the Mansion, or, at least, the cheap facade the budget coughed up, are a formless mess of gags and cameos that really drags the movie down).
In the acting arena, the duo have good chemistry, but subtelty is not in either man's arsenal (Moore's performance is so big it can be seen from space). Cregger, the more restrained of the two, gets some good deadpan gags in when Moore isn't smacking him with baseball bats (a surefire coma-solving technique) or slamming him into cars; I wonder if the movie would be a little funnier if Cregger played it completely straight in the face of Moore's absurdity. Aside from them, there's only three other major roles in the movie. Raquel Alessi is just the right blend of provocative and good-hearted to be the girl of Eugene's dreams, and I wouldn't be surprised to see her career take off (er, because of some other movie, that is). Molly Stanton plays Tucker's girlfriend, and she's a good Jamie Pressly substitute, even when her role is thankless. Best of all, the always-reliable Craig Robinson turns up and milks a few laughs as terrible rapper Horsedick.MPEG (promoting the hilarious single "I'ma F--- a White B----"). Hugh Hefner also shows up, but he feels definitively isolated from the rest of the production, as if he shot his cameo via greenscreen while vacationing on another planet, and the entire bit is a shameless rip-off of the Stan Lee part of Mallrats anyway.
Which really brings us back where we started: this is a really stupid movie. I haven't seen any of "The Whitest Kids U Know", so I can't say if this is similar in tone, but despite hints of a maniac verve I like my comedies to have, Miss March is only fitfully amusing instead of hilarious. It's too gross yet not actually risky or outrageous, over-the-top yet inhibited from taking any broad comedy leaps without a net. It looks like it was shot for twelve dollars (assuring every dollar goes straight in the bank), but given the amount of DVD bonus features and the hit-and-miss qualities of the film itself, I suggest any hardcore "WKUK" fans rent the DVD rather than spend more to own the movie than the filmmakers seem to have paid to make it.
Note: This DVD packs in both the "Unrated" and R-rated theatrical version on this one sided disc. The theatrical cut runs 1:29:53, while the Unrated unspools for 1:33:26. Other than a new scene right before the closing credits, I didn't notice anything particularly different from when I saw the movie in theaters.
Note 2 (7/28/09): Today, Eric Snider broke a story on Cinematical about Fox's apparent removal of the words "retard" and "retarded" from both versions of Miss March on the DVD. I agree with Snider on his two main points: I think it's silly that anyone would perceive that the word needs to be censored from a movie like Miss March, and that Fox Searchlight was lame to have done it (remember, folks, if one topic is in bad taste, then every topic is in bad taste, because who says anyone gets to pick and choose what is and isn't offensive?). That said, I also doubt that the editing a low-budget, body-fluid-a-minute box office dud from two of The Whitest Kids U Know is going to be the center of a raging controversy, so other than informing viewers of the change, I don't know what else to say.
The DVD, Video and Audio
As usual: Fox provided a screener disc with compressed picture and audio. Miss March may not be an A/V juggernaut when it arrives in stores, but all the same, I'll hold off on giving it any official grades.
There's not much on this DVD. Three short viral videos are included. "Timmy's Audition" (1:34) and "Darren's Audition" (2:31). As "Whitest Kids U Know" fans might guess, these feature Cregger and Moore's fellow small-screen cast members Timmy Williams and Darren Trumeter in gag audition sketches, which are fairly amusing. "Down and Dirty w/Horsedick.MPEG (Censored Version)" (2:09), not surprisingly, is a "Behind the Music"-ish segment with Craig Robinson's character, which is slightly less amusing. Other than that, the disc is barren. It's too bad, I guess (depending on your opinion of the film), that Cregger and Moore weren't allowed to record a commentary, which really would have boosted the value of the DVD.
Trailers for "The Girls Next Door": Season 4, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, 12 Rounds and The Marine II play automatically when you load the disc. No trailer for Miss March is included.
Given the movie's reception, I'd say I'm being a lot kinder to Miss March than 99% of its audience to date, but going through it a second time on DVD was a bit of a challenge. Again, if you're the hardest of the hardcore "WKUK" fans, then you might want to check it out, but everyone else can probably skip it, because the DVD has no discernable added value.
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