Not unlike My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Connie and Carla allows Nia Vardalos to showcase her abject desire to mug the camera. This vanity project begins with failed cabaret singers Connie (Vardalos) and Carla (Toni Collette) witnessing a murder and making their way to a culture-less Los Angeles with a secret stash of cocaine. Because no one but undiscriminating gays can put up with their singing, the blabbermouths pretend to be guys pretending to be girls (Victor/Victoria anyone?) and subsequently become the stars of a cabaret act that exists to showcase Vardalos’s ability to carry a tune. For some reason, the thugs looking for Connie and Carla assume they joined a new cabaret act, and as such make their way across the country visiting one dinner theater after another. This gives way to countless more renditions of bad musical numbers from South Pacific to Evita. Because Connie and Carla dutifully abuses the power of recognition, theater queens will eat this shit up. But when a pathetic drag queen’s hottie brother (David Duchovny) comes to West Hollywood, things quickly grow maudlin. Connie and Carla are here to teach downtrodden queens to believe in themselves, and Vardalos is more than happy to play the warrior fag hag. Not only that, but she also gets the guy! Poor Connie falls head over heels with Jeff but doesn’t know how to tell him that she really doesn’t have a cock. Poor girl. No, wait…poor guy! Jeff gets so comfortable with his new gender-bending pal that he breaks out into impromptu drag. X-Files fans will weep, but Vardalos is so endeared by the performance art that she plants a big wet one on his lips. By the time Debbie Reynolds and three different subplots embarrassingly collide during a final showstopper, you may forget that you saw the Just One of the Guys gender-acknowledgement gag coming a mile away. One mitigating factor: Collette looks absolutely repulsive (maybe even repulsed with herself), and she gets the funniest line in the film when she stares into Vardalos’s eyes and screams, “Your voice is giving me mono!” Yes, Connie and Carla is a drag.
- Michael Lembeck
- Nia Vardalos
- Nia Vardalos, Toni Collette, David Duchovny, Stephen Spinella, Alec Mapa, Chris Logan, Robert Kaiser, Ian Gomez, Nick Sandow
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