Thursday, 4 March 2010



Every so often it's probably good to step away from one's favourite genres and take a look at something you'd normally ignore. I see a lot of cheap modern horror films (many of which are at best unremarkable) but for many years I've studiously avoided the Modern American Teen Sex Comedy. I didn't even see the American Pie films because the clips and trails didn't look that sexy or, perhaps more importantly, that funny. In fact the last one I went to see was either Porky's Revenge (I subsequently caught up with the first one on video but I've never bothered to complete the trilogy) or the absolutely atrocious Screwballs II: Loose Screws which was a depressingly one-star viewing experience if ever there was one.

So now, nearly a quarter of a century on, has the Modern American Teen Sex Comedy come of age? Has it stopped leering at girls in their underwear and sniggering? Er, no. Not, at least, on the basis of Miss March. The story is that a pro-celibacy high school lad is on his way to Finally Do It with his girlfriend when he falls down the stairs and ends up in a coma. Emerging four years later he discovers that his beloved is now a Playboy model, so he and his best friend travel across America to the Playboy mansion in order to get her back, accompanied by a variety of wacky characters including a pair of sex-crazed lesbians and a hideously misogynistic rap star. Meanwhile the best friend, who is - and I'm sorry about the language at this time in the morning - an unmitigated arsehole, is being pursued across the country by his epileptic ex-girlfriend and an army of firefighters. Everyone ends up at the Playboy Anniversary Party and that's where the fun really doesn't start.

The most obvious problem with Miss March is that it isn't funny - I think I managed one tiny laugh and that was the extra bit under the end credits (which I'd seen coming anyway). Much of the humour is phenomenally crude and very broad: poo, wee, boobs, bums and willies, the sort of thing that is only funny to people too young to actually see the film. Because he's been in a coma for four years, running joke ahoy: he's lost control of his bowels! Oh, the hilarity! It's also incredibly hypocritical: a decrepit looking Hugh Hefner turns up at the end as himself talking about how Inner Beauty is what counts. Really? The movie spends an endless hour and a half banging on (literally and metaphorically) about sex, hot chicks, bitches and softcore pornography before telling us that Inner Beauty is what really counts, but in the meantime, look at the jugs on Miss September!

So the jokes are repulsive and they're not funny, it's morally dubious, it's sexist, childish and dull. Rubbish, in other words. Maybe (if humanity still exists by then) I'll give the genre another look in about 2033. I bet it won't have changed much.


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