Kate (June Diane Raphael) and Chloe (Casey Wilson) are two childhood best friends who met when they placed dead last in their hometown beauty pageant. Now they are all grown up and living in New York City, where Chloe works as a “girl in a box” at a nightclub and Kate is a CEO….of her own one-woman egg donor “corporation.” Lost in delusion, they believe they are living large until an invitation to their hometown pageant arrives and their past comes back to haunt them. Join these two loveable losers as they take an ass backwards journey home to reclaim their crown, stopping off at a women’s separatist commune, an amateur strip club competition, and meeting their favorite reality TV star along the way. (source: comingsoon.net)
One of my favourite movies of the late 90s was Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, a delightfully off the wall movie chock-full of memorable quotes, that celebrated the idea that you can go back and re-write history.
Well after a fashion anyway.
In reality both Romy and Michele, who haven’t quite realised their potential shall we say when the movie starts, and are still very prisoners of their high school past, don’t so much rewrite history as rob it of its toxic hold on their lives, which in the end has much the same positive effect on their lives.
What I liked about it, especially as someone who suffered horribly at the hands of bullies during high school, is its message that it’s possible to move beyond the pain of the past, and move from delusions of where you are in life or could be if you could just get a break, to some that’s real and meaningful.
And Ass Backwards, which made a splash at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, looks to have much the same look and feel to it, even if it is very much its own cinematic creature, something that cinemablend.com also picked up on when they reported on the film:
“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.”
What looks most appealing about Ass Backwards, apart from its two comically-talented and thoroughly likeable leads, June Diane Raphael (Bride Wars, Girl Most Likely) and Casey Wilson (Saturday Night Live, Happy Endings), is that it uses strip clubs, a road trip and great heapin’ spoonfuls of nostalgia-laden delusion to get its point across.
Its message looks to be every bit as poignant and worthwhile as any of the serious indie movies that it shared Sundance with; it’s simply using comedy to deliver the pill which is usually more effective since people are often so busy laughing they don’t realise they’ve just been served the moral of the story.
And even if there is no firm resolution at the end of the movie, since let’s face it life is rarely that kind, there’ll be a ton of fun along the way (along with a hilarious singalong to Aha’s “Take On Me”) with actors like Jon Cryer and Vincent D’Onofrio also part of the cast.
It looks like an absolute delight and I can’t wait to see what awaits Kate and Chloe at the end of their road trip.
Ass Backwards will be available for Video on Demand in USA on 30 September 2013, opening in limited theatrical release on 8 November. No sign of Australian release dates at this point.