Projections - Movie Reviews

Connie and Carla
Connie and Carla
Starring Nia Vardalos, Toni Collette, David Duchovny

It’s easy to see pieces of past films in Connie and Carla, they are running away after seeing a mob hit (Some Like it Hot) and they become women playing men who are impersonating women (Victor Victoria). From a distance that appears to limit the appeal of the production, but up close and personal this is one of the funniest films ever made.

Connie (Nia Vardalos) and Carla (Toni Collette) are small town entertainers and their act is less than stellar even though they have been working on it since the sixth grade. “Oklahoma” in their hands and voices draws few followers. Only when they witness a mob hit and are forced to hide in Los Angles do they come up with the idea of becoming part of a female impersonator show only then do they find success.

These two performers and their characters are not delicate young things that along with not so masculine voices propel them in to prominence in the gay community and eventually on to television where the Russian hit man can find them. Of course by then he has hit so many dinner theaters with elderly Americans he loves the stuff. We even see him singing “Mame” with gusto along with a hundred elderly devotees.

The situation is ripe for comedy but it’s the script by Nia Vardalos that keeps us laughing. Collette and Vardalos camp their parts with perfection, their characters love success so much that the danger of being eliminated by the underworld can’t stop them from performing. They are effectively helped by David Duchovny who finds himself strangely attracted to Connie while he attempts to resolve his relationship with his gay brother Robert/Peaches (Stephen Spinella) who is another performer in the show.

Michael Lembeck who created a Christmas classic with Tim Allen’s Santa Clause 2 helms this over the top comedy and makes it a smooth flowing production with no down time. But credit for this success must go to the two main stars. They are willing to work in un-flattering un-glamorous costumes and over blown hair styles that make them look silly but could easily be effectively on men who dress like women. Neither one is fearful of looking foolish and we can easily see Lucy and Ethyl caught in a situation that would require dressing in this fashion.

By the time Debbie Reynolds makes a cameo appearance in support of the two fake men/women we have experience enough comedy to hurt our stomachs and we see the best audience reaction to a kiss ever shown on a screen.

Connie and Carla should be the surprise hit of the Spring at least for anyone who want’s to giggle and laugh for two hours.

Connie and Carla

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