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'Miss March': Not The Whitest Kids You've Come to Know

Whitest kids and hef

If you've followed the career of sketch comedy group The Whitest Kids U' Know - saw their live  shows at Pianos on the Lower East Side, checked their website for the latest no-budget shorts, cheered as they landed a show on Fuse, then cheered louder when it moved to IFC and became way less censored - then you're probably surprised, or even a little disturbed to see the picture above, with stars Trevor Moore and Zach Cregger sandwiching Playboy founder and reality-TV staple Hugh Hefner. Shouldn't Trevor and Zach be working on some bizarrely comic sketches instead palling around with Hef at the Mansion? And how do these guys even know each other?

Well, as it turns out, not only do they know each other, but they costar in Miss March, a bawdy teen sex comedy that opens in theaters tomorrow. In the movie, teenager Eugene (Cregger) is about to lose his virginity to his longtime girlfriend Cindi (Raquel Alessi) when a freak accident puts him in a coma. When best friend Tucker (Moore) wakes him up four years later and tells Eugene that Cindi is now a Playboy model, the two set off for Los Angeles and the inevitable Hefner encounter.

There are a handful of inspired touches, including Craig Robinson's performance as flamboyant rapper Horsedick.MPEG (that name alone is easily the movie's best joke) and the bizarre running gag of murderous firemen chasing our heroes. But for the most part it plays like a Ryan Reynolds movie, which is less than I had hoped for from two of the Whitest Kids. It's not that I wasn't expecting lowbrow, juvenile humor. That's been a staple of the comedy group since the beginning. But what Miss March is missing is the underlying cleverness of the group's broad humor, a certain self-awareness to the silliness that gives their best sketches a fresh feel. In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, watch this video below.

Not only is it a really funny sketch, but, for those who aren't familiar with the group, it's a great example of the Whitest Kids' sensibility. Sure, it's kind of stupid and childish humor - I mean, there's a guy drinking "boogers" within the first thirty seconds. But at the same time, it's also a sort of deconstruction of that style of comedy, which, for me, puts them in a different category than say, the Farrelly Brothers. The same kind of enlightened silliness is on display in most of their sketches, which you can dig into here.

So what happened? You can't blame the script or the director, considering Moore and Cregger co-wrote and directed themselves. So what are they doing making this movie?

"A road trip sex comedy wasn't what we wanted to come out of the gate with," admitted Cregger at a recent press event with Moore. But when the script was brought to them by Fox Searchlight and they were given carte blanche to rewrite and direct, the two leapt at the opportunity and viewed it as a writing exercise.

For two sketch comedians used to writing five-minute scenes with thinly drawn characters and no overarching story, the challenge, according to Cregger, was "Can we do something as tired as this genre and make it exciting?"

I'm not sure they succeeded, although fans of the group will see their fingerprints on the film's occasionally twisted sense of humor. Regardless, Miss March could have another positive effect for the Whitest Kids and their fans.

According to Moore and Cregger, they, along with troupe-mates Sam Brown, Darren Trumeter, and Timmy Williams, have a script ready for a Whitest Kids U' Know movie that will hew closer to the group's established style and star all five members (Brown, Trumeter, and Williams don't appear in Miss March because the group wanted to preserve the Whitest Kids brand). So, if Miss March can make a profit and bring more viewers to the TV show, that can only help get their next movie made.

So if you'd never heard of the Whitest Kids U' Know until now, don't let Miss March keep you from checking out their other stuff. And if you're a fan of the group, you should definitely go see the movie. Sure, you might only laugh a couple times, but just think of it as an investment in a future, funnier Whitest Kids endeavor. One that, with any hope, doesn't involve Hugh Hefner.

--Tim Young

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