Thursday, February 9, 2023

Impersonation as a way of life

 Seriously Red stars a hard-working Krew Boylan as an Australian real-estate worker who believes her real calling is to be a Dolly Parton impersonator. To this end, the screenplay -- directed by Gracie Otto -- pushes Boylan's Raylene "Red" Delany into a troupe of professional impersonators. Turns out Red, covering her natural color with a variety of platinum-blonde wigs, makes a good Parton. The movie tries too hard to be funny/cute while delivering the expected message: In the end, best to be yourself. Bobby Cannavale signs on as the troupe's boss. He hires the inexperienced Red because she's got moxie. Eventually, Red teams with a Kenny Rogers impersonator (Daniel Webber). They become a hit on the impersonation circuit as well as lovers, never shedding their roles as Dolly and Ken. Thomas Campbell plays Red's best friend; he loves her for who she really is. A plentiful supply of Parton tunes boosts the story's energy. There's no pressing reason to catch this one unless you've been yearning to see Rose Byrne, one of the film's executive producers,  play an Elvis impersonator.  Really. One more thing: About midway through, Red gets breast implants in an effort to try to approach the reality of Parton's famous physique. The procedure leads to a semi-surreal production number that takes place with Red under anesthesia. I told you the movie was trying hard. But trying hard and getting there are are not the same. Seriously Red has its moments but they don't add up to much.

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