Ah, the particular joys of dinner theater. A little Oklahoma with your T-bone steak. A little South Pacific with your salad. A little Sound of Music over your cherries jubilee. It's in this often overlooked entertainment niche that best friends Connie and Carla are toiling towards stardom in the aptly titled Connie and Carla, the latest movie from Nia Vardalos of My Big Fat Greek Wedding fame.
Vardalos plays Connie opposite Toni Collette's (Muriel's Wedding, The Sixth Sense) Carla in this comedy, based on Vardalos' own experience on the dinner theater circuit. Well, some of her experience. Creative license quickly kicks in and Connie and Carla witness a murder and go on the lam from the hit men.
The uber-dramatic duo decides to head to a place where no one will think to look for them, a place with "no dinner theater, no culture at all": Los Angeles. More specifically, their station wagon pulls into West Hollywood, the address of choice for LA's hip homosexuals. Connie and Carla quickly go into hiding as women pretending to be men pretending women, and get a gig singing as drag queens at a local club.
Now, I like drag queens as much as the next person, assuming of course the next person isn't a gay man with a thing for drag queens. I see a man in lipstick and heels and I want to laugh. So I was prepared to enjoy Connie and Carla, a modern twist on Some Like It Hot with a little dash of Victor/Victoria.
Julie Andrews certainly isn't looking over her shoulder.
Thinly-drawn characters and entirely predictable plot devices had me twiddling my thumbs an hour into the gender-bending farce. It's one thing to ask me to believe that Connie and Carla can pass for drag queens just by exaggerating their make-up and lowering their voices. ...1
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Connie and Carla
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