Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 4, 2009)
As long as there are teens, there will be teen comedies, and many will walk the smutty side of the street. That’s the path followed by Miss March, a flick with a plot straight out of the lyrics from the J. Geils Band’s “Centerfold”.
High school senior Eugene (Zach Cregger) dates classmate Cindi (Raquel Alessi). They share a pledge of abstinence and declare they will save themselves for marriage. However, Cindi thinks that they should move ahead sexually and finally get it on after prom. Though reluctant – and fearful of the horrible fate that accompanied his brother’s sexual experiences – Eugene agrees to lose his virginity on prom night.
This doesn’t go well. Out of nervousness, he gets drunk, and he accidentally falls down a flight of stairs. This results in an injury that leaves Eugene comatose for four years. When he awakes, his best pal Tucker (Trevor Moore) remains by his side, but Cindi has moved on to her own life.
When the new Playboy arrives, Tucker discovers what happened to Cindi: she became a model and is now a Playmate. Tucker encourages Eugene to reconnect with her, and he uses the magazine’s annual anniversary party as an excuse. The friends travel cross-country to attend and get in touch with Eugene’s long-lost love.
I was surprised to learn that Cregger and Moore essentially took responsibility for everything here. Not only do they star in March, but they wrote and directed it as well. They come from a comedy troupe called the Whitest Kids U Know; I’ve heard the name but know nothing of their work.
And after March, I can’t say I’m inspired to see more. Maybe feature films from comedy troupes aren’t a good idea, as I’ve been less than impressed by the stuff from Broken Lizard. Seeing these uninspired flicks makes me happy the folks from SCTV never attempted their own movie.
Perhaps Cregger and Moore are talented, but you’ll see no flashes of genius here. In particular, Moore fails to shine, largely because he comes across as a Jim Carrey wannabe. He looks an awful lot like Carrey, and the character’s hair and fashion choices are unfortunate since they make Tucker look a whole lot like Ace Ventura. Moore’s over-the-top performance will also remind many of Carrey, though I see a lot of Matthew Lillard in him as well.
I suppose I should be happy Moore at least attempts to add some zest to the film because Cregger sucks all life from his scenes. He comes across as the blandest of the bland, an actor so devoid of personality that he turns into a cinematic black hole. Again, he may well have good comedic skills, but they fail to materialize here.
I have to wonder how long the script for March sat on the shelf before it got made. In the film, the rapper Horsedick.mpeg talks about how his last CD release caused riots at Tower Records. Maybe this was intended to make the character look out of date, but I don’t think so; we’re supposed to see him as a huge success on the music scene now.
But when was the last time a CD release inspired masses to hit the stores – 2002? Also, Tower Records closed in late 2006, so even if CDs remained the huge draw they were 10 years ago, it’d be hard to sell them there. And don’t even get me started on the lame jokes about the “.mpeg” part of Horsedick’s name; that sounds like a gag that was already tired before the dot-com boom died.
The sex-related road trip genre is far from fresh, and March brings nothing new to the table. It tends to meld prior efforts together willy-nilly, so it comes across like the retarded love child of The Sure Thing and Road Trip.
Unfortunately, March boasts none of those films’ strengths. It aspires to the heartfelt sentiment of Sure Thing but feels phony when it attempts real emotion. As for Road Trip, I actively disliked that movie, so I don’t think March compares poorly in terms of comedy.
However, Road Trip had one thing going for it: some very nice nudity. I’ve been referred to as a “boob-obsessed moron”, so I’m loathe to add to that reputation. However, I should be allowed to chat about skin when I review a movie about sex and Playmates, right?
Unfortunately, there’s not much to discuss. Want to see Alessi – the title character – naked? Not gonna happen; the sexy bikini shot on the DVD’s cover is the best we get. Want to see Playmate of the Year 2007 Sara Jean Underwood naked as part of her cameo? Sorry – not in this movie.
In fact, the film boasts no nudity at all until its halfway point. A music video shoot shows some boobs, and we get a little more of the same when the movie reaches the Playboy Mansion. All the skin is fleeting and not terribly memorable.
Why in the world would someone make an “R”-rated movie that revolves around a nude model and not include copious amounts of skin? Did Cregger and Moore actively want Miss March to fail? If so, they reached their goal, as the movie bombed at the box office. Maybe some good eye candy would’ve given it life on home video, but as it stands, this is forgettable nonsense.