To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar (1995)

Directed by Beeban Kidron

A cross country trip to Hollywood is cut short by an unreliable engine & an unpleasant encounter with law enforcement. With the power of drag, three self proclaimed career-girls bring a bit of much needed beauty to rural middle America!

Happy Pride Month! 🌈 Do they make this kind of feel-good movie anymore? Notwithstanding that the film clearly has its own goals surrounding representation, dismantling the hypermasculinity of 90s blockbusters and, of course, pure entertainment, it's still interesting to observe its political limitations: for instance, in its crude views on the yokel Midwest and the buffoonery and closeted nature of the police. Indeed, as Kenneth Turan correctly observed in a contemporary review that "all the women are lonely and depressed [and] most of the men are either brutes or fools or both." Turan goes on to say that:

Though they may totter on their heels, Noxy, Vida and Chi Chi know a thing or two about human nature, and, in the most trite way, they manage to solve everyone’s problems, even their own, before the Cadillac rolls out of town. It’s even more unconvincing than it sounds.

... and Edward Guthmann wrote in SFGATE that:

It's a distant cry from the reality of gay bashings, poverty and evictions that real-life drag queens suffer -- which may be part of its point. Imagine, Wong Foo… suggests, a world where people stopped judging one another and simply surrendered to the silliness that's dormant inside us.

... and Barbara Shulgasser in the same publication wrote:

That the drag queens can cure everyone by spreading around their precious joie de vivre and self-acceptance is fine, but this can only happen in a gay fantasy land where gay means sophisticated and knowing, and small-town heterosexual means uncultured and imbecilic.

Yet despite all that, "you come away from this film with the impression that you've had a much better time than you've actually had."