Connie and Carla
When you follow your dream, there's no telling what you'll become.
Directed by: Michael Lembeck
Starring: Nia Vardalos,
Toni Collette, David Duchovny, Stephen Spinella, Alec Mapa, Chris Logan
2004 Cosmique Movie Awards
When Connie (Nia Vardalos) and her friend Carla (Toni Collette), two washed up lounge singers in New York, accidentally witness a mob crime, they're forced to flee undercover, where they take refuge pretending to be drag queens in West Hollywood.
It's a decent premise - a woman pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman - that's been done before, and better ("Victor/Victoria"). That doesn't make revisiting the theme worthless, however; how many variations of "Romeo and Juliet" are done each generation? Nia Vardalos is a funny writer and a good actress and singer (her last film, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," earned her Cosmo nominations for acting and writing). "Connie and Carla" is a fine film that is somewhat satisfying, but deeply frustrating on an important level. The film's significant subplot centers around the fact that these drag queens, who are presumed to be men, shoot to superstardom when audiences suddenly realize that they're actually singing live rather than lip-synching. Hello! This is 2004. How long have drag queens in New York, San Francisco, and no doubt West Hollywood been singing live? (Years, many many years.) How long ago did RuPaul become a national star? It's a shaky premise on which to hang an entire film, yet most straight audience members (and quite a few gay ones as well) lapped it up without batting an eye.
Nia Vardalos' first film, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," did well at the Cosmos in 2002, earning six nominations. "Connie and Carla" may not do as well among some segments of the Cosmo voters, though it could do well in some of the newer categories. (I'll probably vote for Debbie Reynolds for Best Cameo, for example).
My Rating: 5
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