"Thus open the gates of paradise."

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Happy, Texas

06 Apr 2002

I saw this film on a Saturday night with some friends. A social occasion. And you know, I was probably being a bit rude by saying outright that I thought this film was crap, but there it is. I said it.

The thing is, it's not complete crap. It's almost watchable crap -- the sort of thing you might welcome on an insommniatic night at the cottage: just you, a black and white TV, and a set of rabbit ears. But make no mistake; it's still poor.

That said, I have to heap tons of praise on William H. Macey for an outstanding performance. He is the reason to see the film because he brings nuance and sublty to his character that's a welcome change to the same old same old.

And that's the thing that turned me off. This film is just the same old same old. We've seen it all before in any number of other films. What's new here? Two escape convicts are mistaken for a gay couple who oragnize children's beauty pageants. So now they have to put one on lest they blow their cover. Hillarity ensues, and by the end you've probably finished your popcorn.

My two main complaints, and then I'll call it a day:

  1. The writers seem to think that being gay is always good for a laugh, just like some guy being kneed in the groin. It wasn't funny 20 years ago, and it's still not funny now. I resent being taken for a red neck It makes me cross.
  2. The story is all over the place. Part caper film, part romantic comedy (I suppose), part something else. It would have been so much better had they picked one idea and developed it. Any one, it really didn't matter.
  3. (Bonus gripe) Maybe I was in an audiece from the deep woods, but when Macy's character's heart is broken, there was laughter from the audience. I got the feeling the filmmakers were actually playing that up for yuks. What is funny about watching someone in pain?

Related Sites

Official Web Site (Miramax)
Happy, Texas on IMDB