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Michael T. Weiss,
We become intimate with the "Sordid Lives" of a family in a small Texas town preparing for the funeral of the mother. Among the characters are the grandson trying to find his identity in West Hollywood, the son who has spent the past twenty-three years dressed as Tammy Wynette, the sister and her best friend (who live in delightfully kitschy homes), and the two daughters (one strait-laced and one quite a bit looser).Written by
Randall Gellens <email@example.com>
Sordid Lives is the screen adaptation of Del Shores' play, and it's a hoot (and a holler) from beginning to end. When I saw it last night, I had no idea what it would be about except that Olivia Newton-John was in it, along with Beau Bridges and Bonnie Bedelia, which was more than enough to get me in the theatre. I was not disappointed. The film starts out over the top and goes only farther in that direction with every scene. It's got a wacked-out cartoon tone to it, but yet the characters ARE real, you do relate to their foibles and situations. The most fully-realized character in the piece has to be Leslie Jordan's cross-dressing Brother Boy, who makes you laugh every time he appears - you are laughing WITH him, though, not AT him, and by the end you are happy for him as well. In the wrong hands, this movie could have been a travesty of major proportions, but Del Shores (who wrote and directed) is confident enough in the value of the piece to make it work.
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