Dumb and dumberest – Ass Backwards review

Ass Backwards

By Richard Haridy
November 6, 2013

For a film that begins and ends with a visual gag showing two women urinating on the pavement, Chris Nelson‘s Ass Backwards certainly doesn’t aspire to being anything more than passing entertainment. But sadly, this listless, flat, and exceptionally derivative movie doesn’t even achieve that modest goal.

June Diane Raphael and Casey Wilson star as Kate and Chloe, a couple of airheads who have been best friends ever since tying for last place at a beauty pageant as children. When they receive an invitation to come celebrate the anniversary of that fateful pageant, they jump at the chance to take the crown they think they so rightfully deserved all those years ago. Cue a cross-country road trip that involves every “zany” cliché the genre demands as this duo inevitably learn those life lessons that generic screen-writing often results in.

Ass Backwards

Raphael and Wilson have worked as a comedy duo for years and they collaboratively wrote the screenplay for Ass Backwards (as well as the horrific Bride Wars), obviously using the superior Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion as a template. Unfortunately, they frustratingly position their feature in this uncomfortable limbo where their characters aren’t cartoonish enough to be actually funny but also too broadly presented to make us really care about them. The Dumb And Dumber buffoon pairing is an American comedy staple, though here Raphael and Wilson mistake ignorance for stupidity. Kate and Chloe are not lovably stupid. Rather, they are annoyingly unaware of their own shortcomings and often quite unlikably mean.

The episodic nature of the flick rarely goes anywhere especially interesting, and instead becomes more and more anachronistically bizarre before it reaches its true nadir with a genuinely discomforting montage showing the girls going on a crack bender with an ex-reality TV star. There are a few moments of amusing creativity (singing to a skipping CD is an especially memorable one) and Raphael and Wilson are charming enough performers to make the journey amiably pleasant. In the end, however, Ass Backwards seems like it was conceived exactly as its title implies: “Let’s start with two funny comediennes and try to craft a 90 minute movie around them.” Only they forgot to write in good jokes and an engaging narrative.

2.5/5

Ass Backwards is now available on Quickflix.

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