A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
Positive Role Models & Representations
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Ass Backwards is a crass comedy written by and starring June Diane Raphael and Casey Wilson. The characters are incredibly dim hopefuls in a beauty pageant, and through all the silliness, there is a brief message about how women should not rely on others to decide how beautiful they are. Language is the major issue, with many uses of "f--k," "s--t," and a use of "c--ksucker," as well as exclamatory mentions of "God" and "Jesus." There's some very mild, brief nudity, and some sexual innuendo. One character is a "cage dancer" in a club and another takes hormone shots with hypodermic needles (her needles fall into the hands of some dismayed children in one shot). A minor character is said to be a sex addict and a meth addict. He is shown smoking meth and drinking whisky in one scene.
What's the story?
Kate (June Diane Raphael) and Chloe (Casey Wilson) are best friends living in New York. Kate makes a living as an egg donor, and Chloe works as a dancer in a glass cube at a nightclub, but they kid themselves about how well they're doing. They're both haunted by losing a beauty pageant as girls, so when they hear about an anniversary pageant, they hit the road to enter it, and try to undo history. Of course, they have several misadventures and meet several colorful characters before they finally arrive at the pageant. But can they undo the mistakes of their past, and if not, will it matter?
Is it any good?
Comediennes June Diane Raphael and Casey Wilson wrote the screenplay for ASS BACKWARDS, their first since the horrendous Bride Wars -- and they have not shown improvement. This time they star as two very dumb characters, and the movie's one joke is that they don't quite realize how pathetic they are. This kind of joke could work if the characters were charming and had the ability to win over other characters, but these women remain stupid and annoying throughout. No one likes them, and for good reason.
The movie actually opens and closes with the friends peeing on the sidewalk, which says volumes. (They use the lazy writer's technique of starting the movie with a flash-forward to an exciting scene, rather than the actual opening, which is rather dull and unfunny.) For some reason Jon Cryer, Vincent D'Onofrio, and Alicia Silverstone signed on for this, and even they can't generate any laughs. The movie's only benefit is a last-minute commentary on beauty pageants.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Families can talk about the nature of beauty pageants. What are the good and bad aspects of beauty pageants? What do the characters learn here?
- What does the movie have to say about female body image?
- Since the two lead actresses wrote the movie and their own roles, what positive female attributes (or negative stereotypes) can be seen? What's funny about characters that are not very smart?
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