Screened as part of the 2019 Central Maine Pride Festival!
“I’ve never seen this America place,” explains Noxeema (Wesley Snipes), worrying about hinterland reactions to “people like us”. Noxeema’s one of three New York drag queens (or folks “with too much fashion sense for one gender”) contemplating a car trek to Los Angeles, and the land between is a terra incognita she’d just as soon leave that way. But then, Noxeema is black, gay, and oh-so-cynical, while Vida (Patrick Swayze) is an eternal optimist from a wealthy suburb. Their protégé, Chi Chi (John Leguizamo), is just, well, Chi Chi… The car eventually breaks down in the tiny town of Snydersville–actually Loma, Nebraska–and the locals do seem to have stepped straight out of Deliverance. By the end of the story, however, our fairy godmothers have turned it into Cicely, Alaska. Naturally, a tale as fundamentally whimsical as this is entirely cast-dependent, and Wong Foo boasts a no-lose lineup. It was a marketing coup to get macho stars Snipes and Swayze to don crinoline and Spandex… And fun is the main dish served by choreographer Kenny Ortega, along with unfailingly clever work from Spike Lee’s production designer, Madonna’s costume artist, the cinematographer from Strictly Ballroom, and, of course, director Beeban Kidron (Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit), whose affection for all the characters–even the “bad” ones–is the movie’s real theme. (We don’t even have to mention the music.) So come on: everybody Wong Foo tonight!” —Ken Eisner, Georgia Straight. PG-13. 109 Min.