Connie & Carla
Vardalos, Toni Collette, David Duchovny
Director: Michael Lembeck
Fax: 2004, comedy
Drag queens and mobsters go together. So
do women playing men playing women and mobsters. Thus it is then that
Connie & Carla doesn't cut new ground. "Some
Like It Hot," and "Victor/Victoria," have already laid claim to the
But, in the hands of My Big Fat Greek
Wedding's Nia Vardalos what is old is new again.
and Collette play Connie and Carla, two struggling Chicago dinner
theater performers who accidentally witness a mafia hit.
wanting to get rubbed out by the mob they hit the road, running for
the killers will never look for them in a place devoid of culture, the
pair head to Los Angeles, where they assume new identities and find
their middling talent at song and dance perfectly suited to new
careers--as drag queens.
their surprise, they inadvertently become the toast of the cabaret
ruse becomes increasingly difficult to maintain, they discover that it
is indeed lonely at the top, especially after Connie meets Jeff (Duchovny),
a guy she'd really like to be a real girl with.
With the mafia zeroing in and the line separating their
onstage/offstage personas blurring beyond the point of recognition,
Connie and Carla soon discover the power of not compromising to pursue
your dreams, fighting the good fight, and never, never underestimating
the transformative power of cosmetics.
Connie & Carla was of course written
for a straight audience, but in the hands of
Vardalos it doesn't sink to a nasty
parody of the gay parody of straight women.
The chemistry was there from the start
for Vardalos and Collette, whose characters are meant to be lifelong
friends who have been singing together since childhood.
"She came in, we met each other, we
hugged," said Vardalos. "We went to the piano, we started singing, and
we couldn't believe it, how well our voices blended."
was nominated for an Oscar for My Big Fat Greek Wedding in which she
also starred. A keen observer of people she pretty well has every
character pegged and well defined.
Michael Lembeck (The Santa Clause 2) brings to the table an impeccable
sense of timing...the key to good comedy.