Movie Review: Make way, or make allowances for “The Rumperbutts”

The funniest thing about “The Rumperbutts” is its initial, opening act concept. A musical couple, Wiggles-popular children’s entertainers, have to dress up in plush hedgehog (ish) costumes, tour and do their TV show and meet their contract obligations long after they’ve grown fed up with the gig and each other.

Their love has died. They’re cheating on one another, and can barely hide their mutual loathing on stage together. But like The Everly Brothers, they soldier on.

That hook is abandoned all-too-quickly in Marc Brener’s stillborn 2015 comedy, just now making its way to streaming. A “supernatural aid” in the form of a sitcom-pervy guardian angel type (Josh Brener) gives them the means to ditch that career, get back to making music and get back together as a couple.

“I thought you would hate each other more,” Richie complains to Bonnie (Kori Gardner) and Jack (Jason Edward Hummel). So did we. I mean, that’s “conflict,” the stuff of drama and comedy. And there’s precious little of it once Richie’s shown up, sabotaged their careers with a vulgar, drunken kid-bashing video (in costume) that goes viral.

Jack’s ongoing affair with the “princess” (Vanessa Ray) in their stage show is abandoned and forgotten. They’re back to getting along, getting in the studio, and getting down to the business of writing the instantly-forgettable synth pop they used to make (songs here are by Mates of State).

The plot thins, rather than thickens, as musical interludes — recording sessions, etc. — take over.

Dull? You don’t know the half of it. At least the stars can sing and play instruments (with a little post-production help).

Nothing remotely funny happens after their opening act fantasized performance where they sing their true feelings and get (in their minds) their audience of children to sing along to the chorus, “I saw ‘Go to Hell!'” After that, “The Rumperbutts” goes to hell.

Rating: unrated, pot use, profanity

Cast: Kori Gardner, Jason Edward Hummel, Vanessa Ray, Josh Brener

Credits: Scripted and directed by Marc Brener. A Global Digital release.

Running time: 1:31

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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