To paraphrase Winston Churchill: Never have so few punch lines been owed to so many setups. If you spend too many bored hours scouring the Internet or the Independent Film Channel ("IFC" on your Bend Broadband dial), you may already know the perpetrators of Miss March: It's the "Whitest Kids U Know" sketch comedy team, helmed by writer/director duo Trevor Moore and Zach Cregger. After a brief overview of videos on their website and YouTube.com - along with sitting through their first feature-length film - it's difficult to imagine them conjuring up a joke that doesn't involve some aspect of the male member and its various uses.
In the case of Miss March, the penis cracks arrive early and often. The absurd plot involves Cregger as Eugene, a straight-laced senior in high school who preaches abstinence to tweens using graphic, 10-foot images of advanced-stage syphilis as a visual aide. Right before he decides to break his vow of chastity with his virginal girlfriend, Cindi (Raquel Alessi), he suffers a fall that puts him into a four-year coma. When he awakens, he learns Cindi has left for LA to become a Playboy model. Thanks to the catastrophic assistance of his best friend, Tucker (played with full-throttle annoyance by Moore), he sets out on a road trip to reclaim his girl, become a man, etc.
Miss March has enough failures to win every Razzie Award offered, but its chief sin is having absolutely no clue about its own audience. The "R" rating is richly deserved thanks to the pervasive foul language, sexual references and nudity. But the jokes themselves seem engineered for 13-year-old boys who happen to be just wise enough to decode the parental lock on Cinemax, but too dumb to do anything else. Just about every scene's payoff is telegraphed like a JV bounce-pass.
Moore, especially, becomes tiring within 60 seconds as the sex-obsessed maniac who spoils every effort by Eugene to restore his pre-coma life. His character is a sad attempt at a one-trick pony: the clueless, likeable sex fiend just living from one orgasm to the next. So what's the problem? Well, for one, he's about as likeable as a sexual predator. For another, he's not funny.
As a fan of the Farrelly Brothers (Dumb & Dumber, There's Something About Mary) and the Broken Lizard comedy troupe (Super Troopers), I'm a firm believer in buddy films and road-trip comedies as a blank canvas for humor. That's why I wasn't necessarily surprised by the tongue-in-cheek (I think) jabs Cregger and Moore take at women, epileptics, blacks - even firefighters.
But about thirty minutes in, it became very clear to me that these filmmakers wouldn't come out and say who they really hate: Anyone who sees their movie.
Miss March ✩✩✩✩
Starring: Zach Kregger, Trevor Moore and Raquel Alessi. Directed by Zach Kregger and Trevor Moore. Rated R.