Parents' Guide to

Connie and Carla

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

The plot is nothing new; not much here for teens.

Movie PG-13 2004 100 minutes
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CONNIE AND CARLA is a bright and colorful door-slamming farce with the always-reliable gender-switching theme. It worked for Shakespeare, Some Like it Hot, and Tootsie, and if this movie doesn't hit that level, it's way above flops like Sorority Boys and Juwanna Mann. The movie's directed by Michael Lembeck, whose experience with Friends keeps the pace so brisk that there isn't much time to notice the parts that don't work. The plot is nothing new -- Lucy and Ethel would be right at home -- but there are some good lines given maximum punch by a strong cast.

David Duchovny's low-key charm works well in the midst of all of the over-the-top emoting, but it is a shame that the plot requires him to be so squeamish about his brother's lifestyle. The movie's biggest weakness is its attempt to be just too, too good to the last drop, sprinkling self-esteem over every person who comes on screen like, well, fairy dust. This movie is going to make sure you get the message. Like the two main characters, it throws everything at you it can think of, from shameless power ballads to a real old-time movie star. The song and dance routines really are a hoot, delivered with such affectionate sincerity that I dare you not to be entertained. Yet what it does best is what it does most quietly, with some understated humor about how everyone, even a hitman for the mob, is just one showtune away from discovering the transcendent power of dinner theater.

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