Fox // 2009 // 90 Minutes // Unrated
Reviewed by Judge Gordon Sullivan // August 10th, 2009
How far would you go to meet a centerfold?
Somehow, probably because I lived in the middle of nowhere and had no neighbors, I missed out on that boyhood right-of-passage that is discovering your first Playboy in the wild. Looking back, I don't think I missed out on anything because since the '70s, Hef's idea of beauty and mine have diverged significantly. I can almost forgive him for all the big hair in the '80s because everyone was doing it, but the '90s was like a breast-augmentation arms race that I don't think anyone won. If my viewing of Girls Next Door: Season 4 is any indication of what's in the magazine now, I pity the young men who discover newer issues as their introduction to the female nude. Which brings us to Miss March, a film that takes the Playboy mystique and grafts it onto a half-assed road trip comedy that scrapes the bottom out of the barrel in an attempt to eke out a laugh. It's a sad place for the once-mighty Playboy empire to occupy, and proof that bad American comedy still thrives.
Eugene (Zach Cregger, The Whitest Kids U Know) is a stand-up kid. He believes in waiting until marriage to have sex, and even takes his girlfriend Cindi (Raquel Alessi, Ghost Rider) with him to lecture to children about abstinence. Then, not too long before the prom, Cindi decides she's ready to take that next step, and Eugene agrees, reluctantly, to have sex with her on prom night. The fateful night arrives, but before Eugene can seal the deal he has a few shots of courage with his best friend Tucker (Trevor Moore, The Whitest Kids U Know). After the third shot, he takes the wrong door and falls down the stairs to basement, landing in a coma. Four years later he wakes up with Tucker by his side, but it appears that Cindi is no longer the meek virgin Eugene new. Instead, she's a Playboy centerfold, so Tucker hatches a scheme to get to the Playboy Mansion so Eugene can win Cindi back.
I'm not a rubbernecker by nature. Generally, wherever I'm driving is more interesting to me than watching some poor schmuck getting wheeled into an ambulance. I say this because, despite my usual avoidance of train wrecks, I was absolutely mesmerized by Miss March. It was so horrible, so tired, and so blasted unfunny I couldn't take my eyes off it. From the opening scenes of the best friends discovering a Playboy to the final scenes at the Playboy Mansion I was struck dumb with a mixture of horror and disbelief. Here's the breakdown:
* Bad story. The basic "go on a road trip to win back the girl" story is okay, but the coma thing is lame, the story of Tucker's girlfriend and her firefighter brother is lame, and Tucker's famous rap friend is lame as well. It all ends up rather predictably at the Playboy Mansion, which would be fine if the journey were worth watching.
* Bad comedy. Speaking of Tucker's famous rap friend, his name is Horsedick.mpeg. Yes, that's the kind of "jokes" you're going to see in Miss March, lame technological references that might have been cutting edge ten years ago but are now just insipid in the era of gross-out viral videos. The rest of the jokes are just as uninspired. Of course Eugene's nurse is Hispanic, and of course she a thick accent and misunderstandings with Tucker. Of course Eugene and Tucker are picked up by lesbians who have sex in the backseat, and of course Hef himself makes a sage-like appearance late in the film.
* Bad sex. You'd think a film with Playboy models, lesbians, and a guy called Horsedick (.mpeg!) would have some good ol' fashioned nudity to help the young men and women in the audience get their fill of raunchy visuals. Well, you'd be wrong. Even the unrated cut of this underwhelming film doesn't feature much in the way of naked flesh. Sure there are a few peeks here and there and a striptease scene that doesn't get very far, but that's about it. The targeted desperate teenage audience would be better off searching for fuzzy cable channels to get their thrills.
* Bad acting. Maybe it's just that everyone is playing a lame character, but I was ridiculously unimpressed by any of the actors here. Even the usually solid Craig Robinson could only do so much with Horsedick.mpeg. Zach Cregger came off as a young Ryan Reynolds wannabe, and Trevor Moore was trying hard to take Matthew Lillard's place. I never thought I'd see the day where I would long for a Matthew Lillard performance, but that day has arrived.
I think there's just enough adolescent humor to amuse the younger teenage crowd, if they haven't already moved on to bigger and better movies. Certainly a portion of the audience will be attracted by the promise of sexuality that the story seems to hold (even if they'll be disappointed). I've never seen The Whitest Kids U Know, so I can't comment on how far Trevor and Zach have strayed from their sketch roots, but I will assume that fans of the show will get something out of watching Miss March.
For those bound and determined to watch Miss March, this Blu-ray release is the way to go. The video is clean and generally artifact free, though soft in darker scenes, while the audio is a simple surround mix that keeps the dialogue in the front and random effects everywhere else. It's not going to win any technical awards, but the presentation keeps the film much more watchable than it deserves.
For extras we get a choice of the rated or unrated versions of the film. There are also some "viral videos" that include Trevor and Zach doing foley work, as well as a bunch of auditions for various parts, including the lesbians. We also get a behind-the-scenes spoof of the Horsedick.mpeg music video shoot we see briefly in the film. Finally, there's a bonus digital copy on the second disc.
Lower your expectations as far as they've ever gone, then go a bit farther, and maybe you can sit through Miss March without cringing every five seconds. Otherwise, just avoid it altogether, and you'll probably be much happier. If you're suckered into a viewing, this Blu-ray disc offers a solid technical presentation and a few extras.
Miss March should be missed. Guilty.
Review content copyright © 2009 Gordon Sullivan; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (French)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Unrated
* Viral Videos
* Digital Copy