TO WONG FOO, THANKS FOR EVERYTHING, JULIE NEWMAR: DVD
Classy, long-reigning drag queen Vida Boheme (Patrick Swayze) wins a New York drag stage contest with Noxeema Jackson (Wesley Snipes), and an all-expenses paid trip to Hollywood. Joined by Miss Chi Chi Rodriguez (John Leguizamo) in a yellow Cadillac, the three cross-dressers set out to cross the American heartland by road - and by hook or, preferably, by crook.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Observant viewers will catch a glimpse of Naomi Campbell (credited as just 'Girl' in the film) walking up to Wesley Snipes in full drag as Noxeema Jackson, to tell her "I wish I were as beautiful as you". It's but one of a myriad small and not so small fun moments in this appealingly outrageous comedy showcasing three terrific macho actors as drag queens.
The roadtrip across the US begins with the three gals buying a (cheap) second convertible Cadillac, chosen for style over substance, which may be symbolic of the whole movie - except it does have a big, soft heart, as well as lots of over the top style. And some terrific lines of dialogue.
As they travel - or not, when the car breaks down in the tiny and aptly named Snydersville - the threesome finds all kinds of weird people whose weirdness seems far more threatening then theirs, but of course, that's not how the weird ones see it. The adventures are like salt and pepper on the comedy and help ground the film and the dramatic elements help elevate it to something more than fluffy fun. And they end up making a difference, which is the film's sly punch.
Published September 11, 2008
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TO WONG FOO, THANKS FOR EVERYTHING, JULIE NEWMAR: DVD (PG)
CAST: Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze, John Leguizamo, Stockard Channing, Blythe Danner, Arliss Howard, Chris Penn, Robyn Williams, RuPaul, Michael Vartan, Julie Newmar, Naomi Campbell, Miss Understood, Quentin Crisp
PRODUCER: G. Mac Brown
DIRECTOR: Beeban Kidron
SCRIPT: Douglas Carter Beane
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Steve Mason
EDITOR: Andrew Mondshein
MUSIC: Rachel Portman
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Wynn Thomas
RUNNING TIME: 109 minutes
PRESENTATION: 16:9; DD 5.1
SPECIAL FEATURES: 10 deleted scenes
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Umbrella
DVD RELEASE: September 1, 2008
RIVERSIDE SNEAK PEEK PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 4 consecutive Tuesdays - March 10, 17, 24, 31, 2015 - at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.