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A lot of the movies that come out of Sundance with a palatable buzz tend to be introspective emotional dramas that hover just outside the boundaries of comedy. But this year gave us Chris Nelson’s farcical road trip beauty pageant buddy comedy Ass Backwards, from writers and co-stars Casey Wilson and June Diane Raphael. Unlike our esteemed Katey Rich, who shares her opinions of the film here, I haven’t seen it yet, but thanks to iTunes Movie Trailers, I now have the above trailer to clue me in on exactly where this movie will be taking audiences. And apparently we’re going to strip clubs and book stores!
It’s almost impossible not to make comparisons to Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion and Little Miss Sunshine. Two women want to reclaim and defend the popularity of their youth (or lack thereof), and take a road trip in a van across the country to go to a beauty pageant. I’m not knocking it or anything, because it doesn’t actually resemble either of those films. I’m biased, though, because I love Raphael in anything she’s in. (How Did This Get Made?, which she co-hosts with hubby Paul Scheer and Jason Mantzoukas is my favorite podcast.) And while I’m less familiar with Wilson, I enjoy what I’ve seen and the jovial chemistry between the actresses is always apparent.
Chloe (Wilson) and Kate (Raphael) are two women whose stations in life aren’t necessarily enviable to others. They run into an old acquaintance (Alicia Silverstone), who brings up the failed pageantry tales of their youth. Then they get invited to an anniversary pageant in their hometown, and they take a long road trip to prove themselves. I hope the slightness of the story is balanced by a ton of funny bits, like the trailer makes it out to be. I happen to cringe every time a comedy mines the “characters loudly sing a decades-old pop hit” well, but they give it the appropriate spin by singing along to the glitches in Aha’s “Take On Me.” That probably sucks for anyone who despises that song.
A lot of this trailer’s time is spent outlining the plot, and we don’t get to see the rest of the stocked up cast. Paul Scheer pops up as what looks like a strip club owner, but we don’t get to see Bob Odenkirk, Jon Cryer, Jon Lajoie or Vincent D’Onofrio. We get their names in pretty colors though!
Even this trailer is better than the female duo’s screenwriting effort with 2009’s Bride Wars. join me in finding out how good it is when it hits VOD on September 30. Or if you want to catch it in theaters, you’ll have to wait until November 8. Check out the film’s new creepy picture perfect poster below, and if you want to hear about the film from the stars themselves, check out this interview.