Reviewer's Rating 2 out of 5   User Rating 3 out of 5
Connie And Carla (2004)
12aContains drug references

If you like drag queens, show tunes, and being lectured about tolerance and acceptance, you'll spend a pleasant couple of hours with Connie And Carla. Otherwise avoid this cheap farce, which plays like a bargain basement Some Like It Hot. Nia Vardalos and Toni Collette play struggling singers who disguise themselves as drag queens after witnessing a mob murder. With the gangsters closing in, the singers are super successful at an LA trannie club, where Connie (Vardalos) falls for the brother (David Duchovny) of one of the queens (Stephen Spinella).

"BROAD SLAPSTICK AND LABOURED LECTURING"

Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) is a charismatic screen presence, and Collette an excellent actress, but neither could ever pass as men - even men pretending to be women. The picture doesn't require us to suspend disbelief as much as hang, draw and quarter it. Not that this really matters: it's simply a minor irritant in a film full of major ones. Collette has so little to do it's embarrassing. Vardalos has written herself the prime part (well, as prime as the parts here get) and the film grows increasingly concerned with how she'll win over Duchovny - whose sly comic skills are hardly tested.

The only strong performance is from Spinella, who offers a few moments of tenderness and truth amid the blaring mess. The character's sexual inclination and deep-seated desire to cross-dress have cut him adrift from his family, and there's an interesting movie to be made simply about this. But the script prefers broad slapstick, laboured lecturing, and songs, songs, songs. By the time Singin' In The Rain star Debbie Reynolds turns up for a wince-inducing cameo, you have to give in and start singing - or get the hell out.

End Credits

Director: Michael Lembeck

Writer: Nia Vardalos

Stars: Nia Vardalos, Toni Collette, David Duchovny, Stephen Spinella, Debbie Reynolds

Genre: Comedy, Musical

Length: 98 minutes

Cinema: 11 June 2004

Country: USA

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