To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (1995)
Starring: Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze, John Leguizamo, Stockard Channing and a really awesome cameo (or two)
It is the ultimate road trip movie. (Alright, that may be pushing it, but it is a fun one.) About three drag queens who have decided to cross country together. (To reach another drag show.) They wind up breaking down in small town America and need to find the means to survive and assimilate into the town’s seemingly more traditional culture until their car is fixed.
I feel like this movie came out a decade too early, but all the same it was a fun film. Actually, I take it back. This movie needed to come out in the 1990s. When Snipes and Swayze had such notoriety. It is a bold film for them to take on and I respect them all for it.
I love the chemistry between Swayze, Snipes, and Leguizamo. These drag queens like one another, but also consider each other to be rivals. Thus creating a complicated relationship amongst them. The film is a comedy, meant to be taken lightly. So if you are looking for hardcore reality, YOU SHOULDN’T BE WATCHING A COMEDY!
Listen, the fact is if you are part of the LGBT community before the present day, you dealt with a lot of hatred. A lot of sadness as well. (Not everyone to be fair, but a good amount did.) This movie despite its A-list stars and comedy theme doesn’t deny this sadness. These characters have all dealt with personal issues, especially with acceptance (or lack there of) within their families.
Anyways, the acting is solid, the jokes are funny. To see three big stars of the time dress in drag. i think was a big step forward in for mainstream movie culture depicting members of the LBGTQ community. It also explores if only lightly some of the issues that a drag queen could potentially have in a more conservative small American town.
The film is not perfect, it does drag (no pun intended) in the middle a bit. The main source of conflict goes on for a little longer than I’d like. However, the movie picks up in the end and has a strong third act.
Certainly not a film for everyone, but if you are progressive. If you don’t take things too seriously. You will likely have some fun with this film.