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MOVIE REVIEW

Fun for any girl or boy

October 10, 2003|Kevin Thomas | Times Staff Writer

"Girls Will Be Girls" -- but in this campy romp they're all played by men, which only makes everything more hilarious. Writer-director Richard Day has come up with a delicious cliche of a plot to allow talented female impersonators Jack Plotnick, Clinton Leupp and Jeffery Roberson to strut their stuff. The result is a nonstop hoot.

Plotnick's Evie is a faded B-movie star, a gaunt, evil-tongued drunk who shares her Hollywood Hills home with longtime resident Coco (Leupp), a vulnerable, none-too-successful actress still pining for the handsome doctor who performed an abortion on her a very long time ago. (Coco's look and mannerisms -- but not personality or hair color -- recall Anne Francis.) Roberson plays the new roomer, Varla, an ample redhead with the full-blown look of a youthful Wynonna Judd. All three are gifted drag artists, and it's conceivable that Roberson could walk down a street in drag and not be clocked.

Fresh from the sticks, Varla is eager to succeed as a movie star, fulfilling the dream of her late mother, Marla, whose own career was tragically cut short. Varla is so naive that she allows a greasy pimp, posing as a producer, to prostitute her as part of what he leads her to believe is a "love game." When Varla manages to land a commercial, Evie's jealous rivalry kicks in, setting the plot in motion.

The three dragsters are terrific, fearless performers of such wit and style it scarcely matters that "Girls Will Be Girls" has little momentum but instead unfolds like a series of sketches. Since the plot is but the slenderest of threads to showcase its performers, Day might as well have turned it into a musical, enlivening his film with spoofy songs and production numbers. Even so, Day and his cast have a lot of fun with their 80 minutes of screen time because they have the courage of their silliness and an uninhibited sense of humor.

*

'Girls Will Be Girls'

MPAA rating: Unrated

Times guidelines: Language, outrageous adult humor

Jack Plotnick...Evie

Clinton Leupp...Coco

Jeffery Roberson...Varla/Marla

Ron Mathews...Stevie

Hamilton Von Watts...Laurent

An IFC Films presentation of an SRO Pictures production. Writer-director Richard Day. Producers Michael Warwick, Richard Ahren. Executive producer Jack Plotnick. Cinematographer Nicholas Hutak. Editor Chris Conlee. Music Steve Edwards. Production designer Shannon Schwiebert. Art directors Gabrielle Nieto, Brandi Hugo.

Exclusively at the Sunset 5, 8000 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, (323) 848-3500.

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