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  Connie and Carla  
  Universal / Spyglass Entertainment  
  Michael Lembeck  
  Nia Vardalos  
  Nia Vardalos, Toni Collette, David Duchovny, Stephen Spinella, Alec Mapa, Chris Logan, Ian Gomez, and Debbie Reynolds  
Release Date:
  April 2004  
Reviewed by:

If you tried to make a smoothie out of Some Like it Hot and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, you'd get Connie and Carla. Sweet, refreshing, and a composite that has its own identity while still retaining the qualities of its ingredients.

Two airport lounge singers (Vardalos and Collette), convinced of their own fabulousness even if the layover passengers at O'Hare aren't, inadvertently witness a mob murder and flee to the last place where someone would look for cultured people: Los Angeles. They find a gig imitating drag queens in a revue, and get the job by actually singing as opposed to lip-synching. The hit man sent to find them becomes the world's biggest musical number fan as he searches for them in every dinner theater and Broadway and off-Broadway show in America. And while the girls try to keep their gender a secret, hilarity ensues.

Seeing the movie with a very "fabulous" crowd probably enhanced the experience, but Connie and Carla was a good movie already. The comic chops are all there, the dialogue is crisp, there's enough of a human-interest angle to be sweet, and the musical numbers are peppy. Honestly, I like musical revue much better than the musicals themselves. There's usually only one or two songs in any given musical that are worthwhile to listen to. The rest have this kludged kind of feel that you get when you try to move a story along to music. Mainly, you can't get a decent melody because, if you want to advance the plot, you can't keep repeating the same thing over and over again.

Does the movie have a message? I'm torn between "Keep the attitude, lose the shoes, and your dream will find you" and Debbie Reynolds' maxim, "Chin up, boobs out." Seriously, though, this movie is here to entertain you and make you laugh. I predict this is going to be another niche film, like Vardalos' My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Still, I think it's going to do well, and maybe give Vardalos some credit for having range as well. But, not a lot here for children. There's not a lot of language and no nudity to speak of, but it's probably going to go over little kids' heads. Plus, to enjoy things, you really need a healthy dose of being able to laugh at yourself, too. But, for adults who aren't afraid to loosen up a little, Connie and Carla is a good investment of an evening.

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