3 prisoners escape. 2 end up in Happy, Texas, where they're mistaken for a gay couple expected there to help with the small girls beauty pageant. As the 2 are paid $1000, they decide to stay until the heat is gone.


Mark Illsley
6 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeremy Northam ... Harry
Steve Zahn ... Wayne
William H. Macy ... Chappy
Ally Walker ... Joe
Illeana Douglas ... Ms. Schaefer
M.C. Gainey ... Bob Maslow
Ron Perlman ... Nalhober
Mo Gaffney ... Mrs. Bromley
Paul Dooley ... The Judge
Jillian Berard Jillian Berard ... Madison
Scarlett Pomers ... Jency
Melissa Arnold Melissa Arnold ... Other Happy Girl
Cassie Silva Cassie Silva ... Other Happy Girl
Tiffany Takara Tiffany Takara ... Other Happy Girl
Tim Bagley ... David


Two escaped convicts arrive in the town of Happy, Texas, where they are mistaken for a gay couple who is to host the town's Little Miss Fresh Squeezed beauty pageant. Enjoying the celebrity and using their skill as con-men, the two adopt their persona to take on the task. Of course, as the two are heterosexual, their interest in the involved ladies intensifies. Ally Walker is a banker, who is distrustful of men and has given up on love. Illeana Douglas plays the dowdy, badly dressed teacher. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Escaped convicts disguised as beauty pageant experts? This could get ugly. See more »


Comedy | Crime | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language, sexual content and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


With the exception of a few scenes, the film was shot entirely on location in Piru, California. See more »


After signing for the money at the bank, Harry and Wayne walk along the street looking for a car to steal. The first car on the corner is a 4-door Volvo Sedan. Wayne tries the door and it is locked so they move along to the next car. The shot changes to the next car and in the background you can see a man open the door of a domestic pick-up truck where the Volvo was in the last shot. See more »


Marshal Nalhober: [talking to a group of marshals] OK we've got three, count my fingers, three runners.
[holds a picture of Wayne]
Marshal Nalhober: First, Wayne Wayne Wayne Jr. This man likes to steal cars.
[holds up a picture of Harry]
Marshal Nalhober: Next, Harry Sawyer; fraud, credit card scam.
[holds up a picture of Maslow]
Marshal Nalhober: And the reason we are all here today, Bob Maslow. Let's put this guy away before he kills somebody else!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Gary Lucas - hot head technician See more »

Alternate Versions

The version shown on Comedy Central tones down some of the profanity and violence. See more »


References Flipper (1964) See more »


Half a Man
Performed by Shannon Brown
Written by Kent Blazy and Jeffrey Steele
Published by Reynsong Publishing Corp. / I Want To Hold Your Hand Songs (BMI)
(All rights obo Reynsong Publishing Corp. / I Want To Hold Your Hand Songs
Adm. by Wrensong) / Windswept Pacific Songs /
Yellow Desert Music / My Life's Work Music (BMI)
(All rights obo Yellow Desert Music / My Life's Work Music
Administered by Windswept Songs)
Shannon Brown appears courtesy of Arista Records, Inc.
See more »

User Reviews

Cute Extended Sitcom
28 September 1999 | by iago-6See all my reviews

I saw this movie for free, and I enjoyed every minute of it, but if I had paid $10, I'm not so sure I would have enjoyed it, or even gone.

This is basically a generic romantic comedy with slightly better characters and slightly better actors. Ally Walker is very appealing without being constructed from the start for maximum adorability, like any number of women in bigger budget romantic comedies. Steve Zahn is amusing, but doesn't break any new ground. For some reason I always enjoy seeing Illeana Douglas. Jeremy Northam is fine, sounds American and all, but... why him for this? Why this for him? Sure, it's a step up from Mimic, but after Emma and The Winslow Boy?

The one reason to see this movie is William Macy. He was SO wonderful and open and vulnerable as the sheriff with a secret that I really felt for his plight as you would for a friend. He was really the most developed and likable of the characters here. And I think it's good that the audience (at least as I saw it) is much more concerned with whether he'll end up happy than anyone else.

There were a lot of annoying inconsistencies, like where the two convicts are getting their fabulous wardrobe from. And why Ally Walker seems to have gotten a perm for one scene and then taken it out for the next. But the movie is so slight that it is't worth caring about.

This is one of those Miramax movies that comes out and plays in smaller theaters even though it is every bit as slick, predictable and mainstream as anything else out there. I liked it, but I wouldn't pay to see it. It really is just a long sitcom.

--- Check out website devoted to bad, cheesy and gay movies: www.cinemademerde.com

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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

3 December 1999 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Happy, Texas See more »

Filming Locations:

Lancaster, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$2,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$72,056, 3 October 1999

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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