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Connie and Carla (2004)

When you follow your dream, theres no telling what youll become.

Directed by:

Michael Lembeck

Rating: 5/10

Running Time: 98 minutes

US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 12A

Country: United States

Two musical performers witness a bloke being rubbed out by a gangster, go on the run, and disguise themselves by dressing up as women in a stage show. If the premise behind ‘Connie and Carla’ sounds remarkably familiar, it’s because it is. Yup, you’ve got it – it’s a rehash of ‘Some Like It Hot’, the late 50s classic featuring Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis getting dragged up and drooling all over Marilyn Monroe.

But this is a remake with a difference for, as their names suggest, Connie (Nia Vardalos, who both writes and stars just as she did with ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’) and Carla (Toni Collette, who you may remember as Haley Joel Osment’s long-suffering maw in ‘The Sixth Sense’) are already women. So just what’s the Jackanory?

Well, having decided to lie low in LA, the first place our heroines stumble upon is a gay nightspot chock full of ladyboys. So, spying an opportunity to make a quick and slightly-devious buck, they pretend to be men pretending to be women and Robert’s your father’s brother – they’re the new hit stage act.

This is a warm, semi-decent film that’s probably about as forgettable as it is inoffensive. A couple of moments raised a chortle from my lonely seat in the near-empty cinema and Vardalos is just about likable enough to compensate for her co-star’s slightly-grating whininess. But it also features its fair share of instances bound to make any self-respecting viewer cringe, such as when, after hearing the two leads preach about the importance of being yourself and letting your wrinkles show, up pops a frighteningly plastic-looking Debbie Reynolds for an uncomfortable stretchy-faced cameo. Or when token straight love interest David Duchovny (who used to be quite famous don’tcha know, but seems to be clutching at straws a little these days) starts to find himself unwittingly fancying some Connie action – even though he’s under the impression she’s a geezer. And not a particularly handsome one, at that.

‘Connie and Carla’ certainly adds a new angle to the well-trodden path that is the cross-dressing comedy, but others such as ‘Tootsie’, The Birdcage and ‘Mrs Doubtfire’ (not to mention the original and best ‘Some Like It Hot’) all contain more spark and more laughs. It’s watchable enough, but you won’t be doing yourself any great disservice by holding off for a couple of years and catching it when it’s shown on the telly.

It's Got: Padded bras and caked-on make-up.

It Needs: It’s beauty sleep.

Alternatives:

Mrs Doubtfire, Some Like It Hot, The Birdcage, Tootsie

Summary

Not a total drag. Well, not quite.

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One Comment

  1. carla
    Posted June 28, 2010 at 4:41 am | Permalink

    Its beauty sleep, not it’s. This is a great movie. A feel-good movie. A movie that makes people feel better.

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