June Diane Raphael and Casey Wilson in Ass Backwards.

What a mess.

Casey Wilson (Saturday Night Live) and June Diane Raphael (Burning Love) star in Ass Backwards as two best friends living in New York City. Their lives have hit dead ends, but things brighten up when they get an invitation to compete in a beauty pageant—a beauty pageant they once took part in as kids. So they set out across the country to be in the pageant and show up the now-famous former winner (Alicia Silverstone).

The two main characters are extremely unlikable; much of the blame can go to Wilson and Raphael—because they also wrote the screenplay. They try to wring laughter out of scenarios involving the road trip and the beauty pageant; these scenarios have been done a million times before.

Director Chris Nelson strains to make something of this mess, but he winds up with a poor man’s Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. It’s all too bad, because I’ve liked this duo in other projects and was expecting so much more.

An impressive supporting cast goes to waste, including Bob Odenkirk (who is funny in his few scenes), Vincent D’Onofrio (also funny) and Jon Cryer (not so funny).

This film is available on demand and online, including via Amazon.com.