Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 1988. New Line Cinema, Howard Gottfried/Ronald K. Fierstein Production. Screenplay by Harvey Fierstein, based on his play. Cinematography by Mikael Salomon. Produced by Howard Gottfried. Production Design by Richard Hoover. Costume Design by Colleen Atwood. Film Editing by Nicholas C. Smith.
Harvey Fierstein‘s celebrated play has been adapted into a film whose story is often uneven but whose characters are so likable you’ll never care. The raspy-voiced author himself appears as a constantly hopeful drag performer whose relationships provide for a rather messy life. His boyfriend (Brian Kerwin), a closeted school teacher, seems to be the perfect man except that he still has plans to go straight. Fierstein’s second relationship, with a hot young fashion model (Matthew Broderick), ends with sadness as Fierstein plods on and even ventures into the realm of parenthood. What really seems to be at the heart of his personal dysfunction, however, is his volatile relationship with his domineering mother (Anne Bancroft, who has a great time chewing ALL the scenery). The play has been adapted to the screen with charm and wisdom, lovingly told and exceptionally well performed in a way that overcomes the unimaginative direction and staging.