If there’s one genre that’s benefited from the recent boom of home viewing options, it’s the indie comedy. With the glut of studio comedies regularly choking the multiplexes, it’s easy for the smaller comedies to get lost along the way. The breakout success of things like “Bachelorette” has shown distributors that the audience is there and, with a little prodding, they’ll click, download, and whatever else happens when you download a movie at home. Two more comedies looking for that VOD gold have just released trailers: “Ass Backwards,” starring June Diane Raphael, Casey Wilson and Alicia Silverstone and “Best Man Down,” with Justin Long and former indie movie queen Jess Weixler, which, despite the title, is sadly not a wedding-set sequel to “White House Down.”
“Ass Backwards,” which played at Sundance earlier this year, seems like the unholy love child of “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion,” with a pair of former child beauty pageant stars (Raphael and Wilson) who are invited back for an anniversary pageant. Silverstone plays the girl who kept beating them at the pageants. It looks pretty funny, if somewhat silly, and we love the fact that Raphael and Wilson co-wrote it as well as star in it (especially after “Happy Endings” was canceled – we need our Wilson fix!). The impressive supporting cast includes Jon Cryer, Vincent D’Onofrio, Paul Scheer, and Bob Odenkirk.
Taking a more sincere approach is “Best Man Down,” the dark, romantic comedy starring Justin Long and Jess Weixler that concerns Long’s best friend (played by character actor Tyler Labine), who dies on the couple’s wedding night. According to the trailer, this leads the pair to try and find out about their dead friend as they prepare for his funeral. The trailer oscillates wildly between super twee dark comedy and almost painful, heart-tugging sincerity, and it’s kind of hard to get across in a brief trailer. We remain cautiously optimistic, mostly because Long and Weixler are gifted comedic performers and the supporting cast includes people like Frances O’Connor and Shelley Long.
“Ass Backwards” is on demand on September 30th and in theaters on November 8th. “Best Man Down” is on demand on October 3rd and in theaters on November 8th. Download them or else. Watch both trailers below.