Reviewed by: Jonathan Rodriguez
“My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” “Men Seeking Women”
“About a Boy,” “Changing Lanes,” “The Sixth Sense”
“Evolution, Zoolander,” “The X-Files”)
|Director:||Michael Lembeck (The Santa Clause 2)|
|Producer:||Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Jonathan Glickman|
What’s wrong with being gay? Answer
What about gays needs to change? (It may not be what you think.) Answer
What does the Bible say about same sex marriages? Answer
Can a gay or lesbian person go to heaven? If a homosexual accepts Jesus into his heart, but does not want to change his lifestyle, can he/she still go to Heaven? Answer
What should be the attitude of the church toward homosexuals and homosexuality? Answer
Read stories about those who have struggled with homosexuality—GO
“Girls will be boy will be girls.”
So, you made a smash hit movie about a Greek family and the chaos that ensues after the daughter announces she is getting married. The movie brought in nearly 250 million dollars and got you nominated for an Oscar for the screenplay. You are the buzz of Hollywood for your sleeper hit of the year. How are you going to follow it up?
Of course, following up a surprise hit like “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” would be a daunting task for most anyone, but there are those of us who held out hope that writer-star Nia Vardalos would be able to live up to the task. Sadly, she fails with an offering that will remind many of films like “Some Like It Hot”, “Victor/Victoria,” and even “Sister Act,” but only because of story line, not quality.
“Connie and Carla” tells the story of two life-long friends who have always enjoyed singing and performing together. The opening scene shows Connie (Nia Vardalos) and Carla (Toni Collette) in grade-school, singing to their classmates in the cafeteria. Cut to the very next scene, showing the two singing the exact same song in an airport lounge, where they are now employed as the dinner theater show. After a show one evening, they witness their boss being killed by a big-time drug dealer (Robert John Burke). Of course, instead of gasping and remaining hidden, they both stand up, put their hands to their cheeks and scream, thus revealing themselves to the drug dealer and his assistant (Boris McGiver).
A mild chase scene ensues with the girls escaping in their station wagon, gathering all their belongings, and traveling to the one place on Earth supposedly void of anything cultural, Los Angeles. The opening scenes are just to keep us mildly occupied until the film settles into the main purpose of the story. Once in Los Angeles, Connie and Carla search high and low for jobs, however none of them offer “real money” (this coming from two ladies employed in a Midwestern airport lounge).
One night, they feel like getting drunk, so they hit the bar close to their apartment. We see them dancing with two men, but when the song is over, the two men turn to each other and kiss, thus revealing that this is, in fact, a gay bar. Then, the lights get dim and the bar’s musical act takes the stage. The women overhear from the bartender that the group is taking it’s act to Vegas, so, guess what, there will be auditions the very next day for the new musical act. So, Connie and Carla dress in drag and audition for the act.
Ten points to the first person who can guess the winners of the audition. The women make friends with a set of drag queens, and try to live their lives as men dressing as women. One of their drag queen friends, Robert (Stephen Spinella), has a straight brother, Jeff (David Duc hovny) who Connie immediately falls for, literally and figuratively (the two have a number of scenes where they conveniently run into each other and fall to the ground). However, she cannot reveal her feelings for him, because, well, he thinks she is a man.
Parents will probably have little difficulty keeping their children away from this film; it doesn’t seem to have a real draw to children and teenagers. The film contains surprisingly little profanity (the most offensive being a slang word for female genitals), no violence other than the initial offing of their boss, and no sex scenes or nudity.
The issue Christian parents should have concerns about is the obvious homosexuality and cross-dressing, which is rampant throughout the movie. The Bible makes it’s stance on homosexuality very clear (1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Timothy 1:10), and so does this film. The film preaches acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle, making it seem cute and harmless, and making cross-dressing almost fun and lively. As Christians, we know homosexuality is a sin, and therefore should not be condoned. However, we are responsible as Christians to “love the sinner, hate the sin,” and this movie hints at that aspect as well.
The character of Robert, played by Stephen Spinella, was kicked out of his home at the age of 16, when his parents discovered that he was gay. His brother Jeff, played by David Duchovny, just thought he ran away, and had been spending years looking for his brother. Once he sees how his brother really lives he must decide whether to completely disown his brother, or love him anyway. Had the film focused on this relationship, it could have possibly been a far better film. We should accept homosexuals as people and love them like Christ loves us, and not ostracize them, while at the same time making it clear that we do not agree with their lifestyle. This film, sadly, would like us to accept everything.
“Connie and Carla” is an occasionally funny movie, that borrows far too much from other, better made films, and it’s own original attempts at humor frequently fall flat. It’s nothing awful or unbearable; it’s just not a rush to the theater and see kind of movie, so waiting till it came out on DVD certainly would not hurt anyone interested in seeing it.
Parents would be wise to steer their children away from this cross dressing musical, but I doubt it will take much effort. “Connie and Carla” ranks as a C-.
Violence: Mild / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: Moderate