`Girls Will Be Girls' is a drag

November 21, 2003|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC

Girls Will Be Girls is plenty outrageous. But is it funny?

Well, yeah. Kind of. Sometimes.

But more often than not, it thinks outrageous will suffice. And after a while, it doesn't. Which makes even a 79-minute film seem interminable.

The central joke of Girls is that it stars nothing but men, three of whom play women. There's Jack Plotnick as Evie, the world's worst actress and possibly its worst human being; Clinton Leupp as Coco, an unmarried woman of indeterminate age who longs for children, companionship and passion, not necessarily in that order; and Jeffery Roberson as Varla, an innocent young Southern belle longing to make it big in Hollywood, especially after her mom failed while attempting to do the same.

The three women live under the same roof, but even though they make like friends, they barely tolerate each other. The movie is replete with wisecracks, putdowns and lewd double entendres. Add in the outrageous factor - the racier, more outlandish the language and behavior, the better - and you should get the general idea. If not, try imagining an episode of TV's Golden Girls as written by the team responsible for the film Airplane! cast entirely with men in drag.

Yeah, there are some funny lines here, especially when writer-director Richard Day's target is the Hollywood scene itself. And yes, sexually aware audiences will howl at many of the situations. Not because they're especially funny, but because it's hard to believe anyone would actually commit such matter to film. Oh, the scandal!

It's too bad Day didn't take a closer look at Airplane! He would have noticed that the film isn't driven by its characters so much as by its narrative; the film mines laughs from its characters the first time or two they appear onscreen, then generates continuing humor from the situations they find themselves in. Girls Will Be Girls thinks watching outrageous people acting outrageously is its own reward. It isn't.

Girls Will Be Girls

Starring Jack Plotnick, Clinton Leupp, Jeffery Roberson

Written and directed by Richard Day

Rated R (Sexuality, language and drug content)

Released by IFC Films

Time 79 minutes

Sun Score **

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