April 23 -29, 2004 • Vol. 24 - No. 17

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Connie and Carla
—a Movie that Doesn’t Drag at All

by the Maven and the Blonde
Contributing Writers

For fans who have been waiting to see how Nia Vardalos could possibly follow her huge hit, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Connie and Carla proves she wasn’t just lucky the first time around. Once again, Vardalos not only wrote the screenplay, but stars in it as well. Directing this film are Michael Lembeck (The Santa Clause 2) and Rita Wilson (Tom Hanks’ wife).

Connie and Carla, played by Vardalos and Toni Colette (Muriel’s Wedding, The Sixth Sense), are childhood friends. The two, who dreamed of stardom as children, grew up to become musical performers. While appearing in the Chicago O’Hare Airport, they witness a murder. Because, as we all know, being a witness is far better than being a victim, the two avoid certain death by fleeing to Hollywood, California. While in a local club, featuring nightly performances by drag queens, Connie has an epiphany. She convinces Carla that by dressing up as Drag Queens, they will not only stay undercover, but perform again as well. What was once campy for the two performers is now a hit with their new audience. There is more trouble awaiting the girls, but that, moviegoers, you will have to see for yourselves.

The Blonde: Connie and Carla was like “Laverne and Shirley” meets “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” with a little bit of La Cage thrown in.
The Maven: Lets not forget about Sister Act and Victor/Victoria. I thought that Vardalos managed to write about women who are sympathetic and creative, yet still don’t get it right in the romance department.

The Blonde: Who does? Well, if you like Broadway musicals, you will like this picture. I thought it was a light, yet sweet, funny and entertaining movie that will keep you grinning the whole time.  

The Maven: Yea, well you were grinning because David Duchovny was there to spice things up.

The Blonde: Which queen was he?
The Maven: He was the cute, heterosexual brother of a “queen.”
The Blonde:  But there wasn’t any sex in this movie!

The Maven: Man, you need to cut down on the bleach!  Not to sound catty, but I think Connie and Carla looked better as men dressing up like women, than they did as just women.

The Blonde: Meow, Meow! Even we would look that good with all those wigs and makeup! By the way, wasn’t that amazing when the drag queen who looked exactly like Debbie Reynolds appeared in the musical finale at the end?
The Maven: That really was Debbie Reynolds!
The Blonde: Oh, no wonder he was so good!

The Maven: She, she, Debbie.
The Blonde: I was impressed not only by Vardalo’s talent as a screenwriter and as an actress, but of her singing and performing talent, too. Maybe she should let someone else do something once in a while! Share the love sweetie, there’s no “I” in team!

The Maven: She did, her real life husband was in the movie.  He played the club owner. His name is Ian Gomez and I thought he stole every scene he was in. I liked this film and give it a B+.

The Blonde: Although it’s certainly not a masterpiece, and it’s pretty predictable, I thoroughly liked this picture. If you feel that a movie experience is to entertain, which I do, then I recommend you go see this film and enjoy the popcorn. I give it a B.

The Maven: And the candy!
The Blonde: Only if it’s worth the calories!

13 Going on 30—Not Just Another “Chick Flick”
by Eric Swerdlow
Contributing Writer

13 Going on 30 is not just a female version of Big, nor is it a typical “chick flick.” 13 Going On 30 is the thoroughly entertaining story of a 13-year-old girl transported 17 years into the future, who’s still a 13-year-old intellectually. Barring the overall concept and a few unanswered questions about a more modern technology, this movie is pure delight.

Jenna Rink at 13 (Shana Dowdeswell) is a frustrated young lady. She’s ignored by the hip kids in school, smothered by her parents, and the cute guy she has a crush on barely knows her name. No longer content to spend her time with best friend and neighbor, Matt Flamhaff, Jenna invites the cool kids to her 13th birthday party. The party is a disaster. Jenna is humiliated when she’s locked in the closet for a game of “Seven Minutes in Heaven” and everyone deserts her. Alone in the closet, Jenna makes an earnest wish. If only she could be all grown up, she’d have the life she’s always wanted. A sprinkling of pixie dust and her wish comes true.

The now 30-year-old Jenna (Jennifer Garner) lives with a hockey star in a chic 5th Avenue apartment and has a job as an editor for Poise magazine. She works with Lucy (Judy Greer), her wannabe friend from childhood. But through all the confusion, there’s something missing—Matt (Mark Ruffalo), who is now engaged. She tracks him down and he explains that their friendship ended years ago. She breaks him down and he concedes to help her. Jenna now discovers that she has feelings for Matt that she did not have years ago.

Director Gary Winick could have made those first minutes typical dull teenage dribble, but instead he has managed to make us all remember what lige was like when we were 13. Garner’s portrayal of a 13-year-old is by no means over the top. She expresses the mannerisms and attitudes of a young teen well and her chemistry with Ruffalo is warm and loving. There are wonderful humorous moments throughout the story, many, thanks to an outstanding job of Jenna’s boss Richard (Andy Serkis).

13 Going on 30 can be enjoyed by men and women alike. If you can suspend belief and just enjoy the film as it is, without a doubt, it’s pure entertainment.

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