Amusing Entry-Level, Low-Budget Comedy…
Former child-actor turned director, Chris Nelson, has done a fairly decent job, in this, his second feature-film, Ass Backwards. Nelson’s sense of timing with comedic dialogue, and visual gags, certainly impressed, and with a budget of only $3 million, it was all the more impressive. Ass Backwards was also penned by the two stars, June Diane Raphael and Casey Wilson, who clearly knew what they were aiming for in this comedy. They suited their Dumb and Dumber characters well, as they played Kate and Chloe, BFF’s, who haven’t a clue about real-life, yet, try to live it to the full. They help by telling each other how great they are, when clearly they’re pretty awful, but what I liked about their positive attitude, was that they actually believed in themselves, and each other.
This type of women buddy comedy, while certainly not new, is seeing a bit of a resurgence, thanks, in no small part to women who don’t mind making a fool of themselves, like, Rebel Wilson (Bachelorette) and Melissa McCarthy. Particularly McCarthy, who has already had two back-to-back hits, Identity Thief and The Heat. I could picture Wilson or McCarthy in this film, although, I was perfectly happy with Casey’s Chloe and June’s Kate, and know they done their self-penned characters justice. I enjoyed watching Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad), who played the beauty pageant host, using his excellent dry humor that I always find appealing. Odenkirk has a new TV show coming out, based on his Breaking Bad character, titled Better Call Saul.
Ass Backwards is about two BFF’s living together, who have managed to skate through life wearing rose-tinted glasses. They are talentless wannabe’s, who think they still have what it takes to make something of themselves; an invitation comes in the mail to attend a beauty pageant, where they first got introduced to failure, many years ago. After meeting the highly successful woman who won the pageant when they were kids, Laurel (Alicia Silverstone), they decide to go and prove they can win this time, and show the others Kate and Chloe have what it takes. The only problem is, they really don’t. The pair do get a little getting used to at first, but when you do, they are actually endearing.
What I liked about Ass Backwards was the consistency of the humor, and while not everything was laugh-out-loud funny, the entire film was amusing, with no real lows, or gags that didn’t work. I can’t say the same about a lot of popular comedies, but this is a success as far as that goes. The ‘woman only commune’ (I can’t think of a politically correct way of saying this), was my fav part of the film, and the way the girls have to leave a little earlier than anticipated. The pet rabbit, Andrew, was also a nice touch, and the film was filled with little ideas like that. Although not everyone will love this movie, I think the majority will, so kudos to the writing partnership of Casey Wilson and June Diane Raphael. I believe this is their second turn in feature writing, but their first fully written effort, which hopefully isn’t their last.
Review by Ed Blackadder, Lead Entertainment Writer
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