To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -1

When a man dresses as a woman, he's a transvestite. When he has an operation to become a woman, he's a transsexual. But when a gay man has too much fashion sense for either gender, he's a drag queen. That's how Noxeema Jackson (Wesley Snipes) describes his lifestyle. When Noxeema and Vida Boheme (Patrick Swayze) tie in New York's Drag Queen Beauty Pageant, they win a trip to Hollywood. They befriend and take Chi Chi Rodriguez (John Leguizamo), a young drag princess, with them. Their plane tickets are traded for a 1967 Cadillac convertible to cross the continent in style, but it breaks down in Snyderville, Nebraska. Accepted as women, the three drag queens introduce flashy style and excitement to the ladies of this drab midwest town and teach the men how to treat ladies. Witty dialogue and humorous interactions with local people provide a funny look at the drag queen lifestyle.

The title refers to an inscription on a photo that Vida steals from a restaurant and takes on the trip for good luck. Despite the cross-dressing theme, the film downplays the homosexual aspect of the lifestyle. Except at the beginning and once when a wig comes off, the characters dress and act like women and are accepted as such. Chi Chi likes and wants to settle down with one of the young farmers, but avoids anything beyond a hug. When the farmer tells Chi Chi that true love is honest and doesn't have secrets, Chi Chi encourages him to continue dating a local girl. There are only a very few exclamatory profanities and crudities in the dialogue, a refreshing change. Even the violence, considering some of Swayze's past films, is limited to a slap and punch on-screen. Noxeema grabs a local man by the crotch and makes him apologize to some ladies. Also, in one incident, the sheriff puts his hand up the dress of one of the drag queens which elicits a crude response. At one point, Vida says he would like to tell his parents that he doesn't need their approval, referring to his homosexuality, but wants their acceptance as a person. Jesus loves and accepts people as they are and with that love can change lives; we should do the same. The problem with TO WONG FOO is that it implies that we should view outlandish drag queen behavior as acceptable.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Universal Pictures, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (4) times - Mild 3, moderate 1

Obscene Language: Once (no f- or s-words)

Profanity: Exclamatory 4 times

Violence: Few times - Mild and moderate (man slapped; fight heard off camera)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (hand under dress; man grabbed at crotch)

Drugs: None

Other: Drag queen lifestyle condoned; sheriff shown humorously as rabid anti-homosexual

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Older teens and adults

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