6.4/10
16,243
108 user 79 critic

Flawless (1999)

An ultraconservative police officer suffers a debilitating stroke and is assigned to a rehabilitative program that includes singing lessons, with the drag queen next door.

Director:

Joel Schumacher

Writer:

Joel Schumacher

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ON DISC
3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert De Niro ... Walt Koontz
Philip Seymour Hoffman ... Rusty
Barry Miller ... Leonard Wilcox
Chris Bauer ... Jacko
Skipp Sudduth ... Tommy
Wilson Jermaine Heredia ... Cha-Cha
Nashom Benjamin Nashom Benjamin ... Amazing Grace
Scott Allen Cooper Scott Allen Cooper ... Ivana
Rory Cochrane ... Pogo
Daphne Rubin-Vega ... Tia
Vincent Laresca ... Raymond Camacho
Karina Arroyave ... Amber
John Enos III ... Sonny (as John Enos)
Jude Ciccolella ... Detective Noonan
Mina Bern ... Mrs. Spivak
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Storyline

Walt Koontz, a homophobic cop, ends up with paralyzed vocal cords because of an unfortunate stroke. His therapy includes singing lessons from a neighbor who is not only flamboyantly gay but also pre-operative transgender. Both of them are equally prejudiced; Koontz against non-heterosexuals and the neighbor against closed-minded straight people. Written by Rob Reser - The Movie Kid - <moviekid@filmspot.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They couldn't like each other less or need each other more. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language and strong violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 November 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Makellos See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,590,155, 28 November 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,485,485, 5 March 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Tribeca Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS-Stereo | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rusty's line, "It costs a lot to look this cheap", is also a personal quote attributed to Dolly Parton. See more »

Quotes

Walt Koontz: How can a man cut off his balls, how do you do that?
Rusty Zimmerman: Because, I'm a woman trapped in a man's body.
Walt Koontz: Eh, you're ain't no woman.
Rusty Zimmerman: I'm just not *your* idea of a woman, Walt.
Walt Koontz: You're nobody's idea of a woman.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the credits, DeNiro and Hoffman sing the "Name Song" together while staying in character. See more »

Connections

References Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Stouthearted Men
from film New Moon (1940)
Written by Sigmund Romberg & Oscar Hammerstein II
Performed by Nelson Eddy
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Offbeat movie with a point
15 May 2000 | by FlickJunkie-2See all my reviews

‘Flawless' is an offbeat story about Walter Koontz (Robert De Niro) an ex-cop who suffers a stroke and loses partial ability to speak. In an effort to regain some of his speech capabilities it is recommended to him that he take singing lessons. So he decides to ask his neighbor Rusty (Philip Seymour Hoffman), who is a female impersonator, to give him singing lessons. This is an unlikely pairing because Walter is a belligerent homophobe.

This film was written and directed by Joel Schumacher. His story, though peculiar, makes some powerful points. This is a story about hatred, bigotry and reconciliation. Walter learns through his disability who his friends really are, and who they are not. It seems that the people he hates treat him a lot better than the people he thought he loved. Ultimately, he is able to look past his prejudices to find the human elements that make him and Rusty not so different after all.

This was an excellent character study of both main characters, giving a lot of insight into the motivations and lives of each. Unfortunately, the story meanders too often to irrelevant characters and scenes that don't really contribute much (like the Gay Republicans). Schumacher would have been better to concentrate on the relationship between Walter and Rusty rather than digressing so frequently into Rusty's relationships with his friends.

De Niro was outstanding in this film. Not only was he excellent in the emotional portrayal of a man having to deal with a sudden debilitating stroke, but he was very realistic in his portrayal of the physical disability itself. The combination of his struggles to do the simplest of tasks and the obvious look of anguish and frustration on his face was poignant and affecting.

Hoffman brought a lot of emotional energy to his part, and his imitation of a drag queen was passable, though somewhat forced and unnatural. Wilson Jermaine Heredia, who played Cha-Cha, the winner of the Flawless contest, was a much more convincing queen.

I rated this film a 7/10. This is a good film that helps us understand that the remedy for the fear wrought of our differences is understanding, not hatred. In that respect it makes an important contribution. If cross dressing and blatantly gay themes put you off, perhaps you should defy your inclinations and see it.


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