04
Jan
09

Review: Girls Will Be Girls

girlswillbegirls

While movies such as Tootsie and Priscilla: Queen of the Desert have focused on men donning women’s clothes as a supposedly “edgy” narrative theme, Richard Day’s riotous first feature is drag in its purest form, taking for granted the notion that these outrageous caricatures of femininity are indeed women and leaving them to their own catty devices. There’s no transformative dress-donning moment in this story of three women trying to make it in L.A. Rather, the female impersonation here is all of the been-there, done-that variety. Dominating the candy-colored, kitschy suburbia of Girls Will Be Girls‘ Hollywood are roommates Evie (Jack Plotnick), a vulgar, vodka-guzzling faded star; Coco (Clinton Leupp), who desperately wants a husband and child; and Varla (Jeffery Roberson), the wide-eyed daughter of Evie’s old rival, who’s just making her start in showbiz. While Evie makes a pathetic stab at a primetime comeback special, Coco pines for the doctor who aborted her fetus back in college and Varla falls for Evie’s son Stevie (Ron Matthews) as her career begins to take off. All three leads are veteran drag performers who combine their bitchy glamour like a pack of manicured pit bulls. The few men actually playing men provide little more than fodder for punchlines: Poor Stevie suffers numerous jokes about his lack of endowment—from his own mother, no less. Whether it’s Coco’s woman-on-the-verge melodrama or Evie’s verbal sucker punches, the laugh-out-loud zingers of Girls Will Be Girls pin you to your seat (Evie on her history of abortions: “I’ve had more kids pulled out of me than a burning orphanage!”). Granted, Day’s use of fade-to-black scene transitions and chapter titles—which divide the film into a series of vignettes—does break up the wild momentum a bit. But that’s a minor complaint about this over-the-top-of-the-top spectacle, which proves that sometimes it’s OK to get all dressed up with nowhere to go.

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