To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar

BBB

(out of 5)


When a novice drag queen () fails miserably in a local pageant, grand prize co-winners  and  decide to take the young lady under their wing and escort her across the country to the west coast where they’re headed for a nationwide drag pageant. To do so, of course, requires them cashing in their first class plane tickets and buying an old jalopy before heading out on their trip only to be waylaid by car trouble in the middle of the middlest of Middle America. Now, they’re surrounded by tough mechanics and bored housewives and don’t know who to be scared of first. This comedy by director Beeban Kidron has some nice moments for its superlatively talented stars to play with, particularly an astoundingly attractive and funny Leguizamo (though Swayze’s graceful beauty also deserves mention), but the very basic premise that the film rests on is a faulty one: real drag queens don’t dress in drag 24 hours a day. In fact,  gives a speech at point about the differences between transsexuals and drag queens and the film resolutely opposes this very explanation.  Other than that, the film takes a good look at its characters without reducing them to a sideshow attraction, mostly thanks to the work of the actors involved, but even in its best moments it never comes close to being as good as its Australian counterpart, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.


Universal Pictures, Amblin Entertainment

USA, 1995

Directed by

Screenplay by

Cinematography by

Produced by

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by


Golden Globe Award Nominations
Best Performance By An Actor in a Motion Picture-Comedy or Musical (Patrick Swayze)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (John Leguizamo)

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