MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -4

Retired policeman turned security guard, Walter Koontz (Robert DeNiro) enjoys exercise, dancing the tango and takes the stairs to avoid sharing elevators with transvestites in his apartment building. When he hears shooting in his building one night, he goes to investigate. But a sudden stroke sends him to the hospital, causing partial paralysis on his right side. Even speech is difficult, so his doctor suggests singing lessons. When a suggested therapist is too far away, Walter swallows his pride and asks his neighbor Rusty (Phillip Seymour Hoffman), a transvestite entertainer, to give him lessons. But Rusty has more than his gender hidden as Walter learns that the shooting was about money stolen from the local drug lord. This sometimes humorous odd couple may entertain some, but most of the crowds will be fans of DeNiro or the curious.

DeNiro does a fantastic performance as a stroke victim, portraying the initial frustration and hopelessness caused by paralysis. And Hoffmans Rusty looks beyond the flamboyent stereotype of drag queens" to show a compassionate human alienated from both family and straight world. The story even brings out the differing views within the homosexual community as Rusty, speaking for transvestites, tells a group of gay Republicans that they are ashamed of him but he accepts them. Thats the underlying theme, tolerance for differences. While all people should be accepted in Christian love, few understand how to love a person without accepting or condoning an objectionable lifestyle. Jesus told the woman caught in adultery she was not condemned but she should go and sin no more. Walter represents the straight world that avoids contact with gays but through adversity finds friendship as he gets to know Rusty. Unfortunately, the lesson is filtered through a torrent of vulgar language. Despite his speech problems, Walter has no difficulty with the f-sound. But its used by others as well, over 150 times. Crude sexual slang and profanity are also used frequently. A decent story is once more destroyed by realistic gutter talk. FLAWLESS is only a title.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
MGM, 2500 Broadway St., Santa Monica CA 90404

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: Many (36) times - Mild 1, moderate 35

Obscene Language: Many (197) times - F-word 157, s-word 21, other 19

Profanity: Many (24) times - Regular 14 (GD 6, J/C 7, Gods sake 1), exclamatory 10 (OMG 6, OG 2, MG 2)

Violence: Many times - moderate and severe (shootings, man has stroke, punches/kicks, spiked shoe leaves hole in forehead, fall downstairs, graphic head shot)

Sex: Implied twice (unmarried couple in bed)

Nudity: None; Near Nudity - few times (women in underwear)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Reference to phone sex, TV add for phone sex, discussion about sexual performance, sensual dancing, kissing, breast-shaped cake

Drugs: Cigarettes and alcohol, marijuana smoking once, drunken behavior, reference to dealing

Other: Man considers suicide, reference to Dr. Kevorkian, men overcome prejudices

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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