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Transgender Film Reviews

Connie & Carla

Best described as a classic transgender comedy and feel good movie, Connie and Carla is not only light hearted and funny, but also touches on some of the serious issues that affect transvestites, transsexuals and drag queens.

Cover of the Connie and Carla DVD

Here’s the plot. Connie (Nia Vardalos of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding") and Carla (Toni Collette of "Murielle's Wedding") are two childhood friends, girls who’ve always wanted to perform. Their life gets turned upside down when after a day at their dead end job they witness a gangland murder. Suddenly, they are running for their life and get drawn into a crazy world of disguise and double lives… the LA drag circuit! By becoming women dressed as men dressed as women they find a way of making their dreams come true

For want of not giving too much away, one of the most difficult parts of the movie deals with the reaction of a drag queen to his brother (played by David Duchovny of "The X-Files" fame). The pair haven’t seen each other in years; since coming out the drag queen has lived away from family. His younger brother wants him back in his life yet the elder doesn’t want him to have a relationship with just part of him.

The feelings of isolation and rejection that drag queen brother faced and then tells his long lost brother hit home with me when first I saw Connie and Carla. Yet it was also good to see the younger brother’s reaction – he can’t figure why any man would want to dress as a woman, and he finds the whole issue difficult to deal with. Is it OK for him to be seen out with his own brother when he’s in drag? How does he deal with it if one of his brother’s crossdressing friends makes a pass at him? What about how his wife feels about the fact his brother is a complete fairy?

Funny throughout, I actually bought this on DVD to watch with my family as it does raise the issues that all of us face – me as a transsexual and them as my family - but in a nice way. It takes the sting out of things whilst being real enough about the truth. If someone you care about doesn’t know you are TG, it might be the ideal thing to watch together since it’ll allow you to see what their attitudes and thoughts towards cross dressing are without having to out yourself.

As an overall rating out of ten, I’d give this an easy eight. OK, so the guys in it are drag queens and really know how to take femininity to the Nth degree and very likely will be more “dramatised” than your average crossdresser, however some fantastic lines put on the easy stereotypes make it lovable. For instance:

Connie : We need to hide someplace where there are no dinner theatres. In fact, we need to hide someplace where is no theatre period, no culture whatsoever.

Carla : Los Angeles.

Whether you’d watch it on your own or as a way of investigating the attitudes of friends and family who you are not out to, Connie and Carla is well worth renting.

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