Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sorority Boys (Wallace Wolodarsky, 2002)

The weighty issue of gender identification coalesces fluently with on-campus transvestitism in the deceptively nonsensical Sorority Boys, yet another in the long line of movies that exploit cross-dressing in order to obtain comedy gold. Now, dudes dressing like chicks for entertainment purposes is nothing new (Kardashi warriors in the twelfth century were known to wear frilly, crotch-free panties when they performed acts of non-consensual zoophilia for each other in-between pillaging and texting friends). However, the twist here is that the guy's inherent unattractiveness as women is actually beneficial as suppose to being a hindrance. You see, the contrived threesome in this film are trying to blend in with a female frat that contains nothing but misfits and outcasts, so the less appealing they are physically, the better. Besides, the transvestite world hasn't been the same since Dave Foley first donned a pair of heels and lipstick on The Kids in the Hall twenty years ago. The sheer power of Dave's alluring aura when dressed as a woman was so all-encompassing, that most men now think twice before tucking their junk in front of rolling cameras. Yep, I'm afraid the legacy of Mr. Foley's overweening sexiness has ruined drag for the rest of us. I mean, ruined it for other actors, who, you know, appear in drag movies. (Just for the record: I'm not into drag. No, I prefer to watch sweaty men kick balls around in short-shorts and drive my car really fast.)

Anyway, the film is starts off being mean-spirited and a tad hateful, which, I'll admit, had me worried for a second there. (Who wants to watch a raunchy college set comedy that demeans bitches for ninety minutes straight?) Fortunately, things begin to pick up, comically and spiritually, once the guys get their girl gear on. Turns out, the first fifteen minutes were just a clever set up to show how malicious boys can be in fraternity atmosphere, and that redemption and comeuppance are just around the corner. And not only that, but we learn a thing or two about honesty, integrity, and what it means to be slightly unattractive as a different gender.

Don't worry though, it's not all about gaining knowledge and enlightenment, there are multiple shower scenes (it's true, the soap suds were strategically placed, but at least they were naked), an inadvertent lesbian relationship is formed (a gawky yet luminous Melissa Sagemiller showed some spunk during these scenes), jokes about heavy-flow, a drag queen brouhaha breaks out (complete with a staircase dildo sword fight), a really tall girl (a statuesque Kathryn Stockwood) increases her self-esteem, a couple of decent montages are implemented, and a girl-on-girl football game is played that featured plenty of unnecessary roughness.

However, the question that permeates Sorority Boys like a virus is of course: Which of the guys is the most attractive as a woman? The fact that some people fail to answer or even ask this question is a travesty. Sure, you could easily just dismiss all three of them as being ugly as woman and walk away. But that's a cop out. I, on the other hand, took the time to stare at each guy, judging every aspect of their artificial womanliness with the intensity of a jewel appraiser.
Whereas, instead of peering at a precious stone, I was eyeballing homely dudes, and having a whole lot of fun in the process.

Well, for starters, you can cross Barry Watson off the list (despite having super sexy man legs). Moderately hunky as a fella, his Daisy was cursed with broad shoulders, had no shape whatsoever, and sported a hairstyle that was rather unbecoming. And even though I liked the Kathy Griffin wig, Toronto-born funny man Harland Williams' strange Hedwig/Mrs. Doubtfire hybrid was more creepy than anything else. On the other hand, Harland screaming in pain after being kicked in his nonexistent vagina was pretty hilarious (which is important, since the film is technically a comedy).

No, I'd have to say, the most appealing guy in drag was Michael Rosenbaum as Adina. The only actor brave enough to wear high heels, I thought Rosenbaum was on the cusp of being convincing as an overly mannish woman on several occasions. I also found his concern about the largeness of his ass to be quite touching and affinity for pastel colours to be endearing. See, appreciating beauty in a trio of "barkers" who look nothing like Dave Foley wasn't hard at all. In fact, it was a little too easy. I guess I need to start watching more sports on television.



  1. Woohoo, a movie from this decade. Only I haven't seen this one either. :(

    I'll agree with Dave Foley's drag proficiency. He is the .. umm .. king of queens (oh my!).

  2. Woo-hoo? Sounds like someone has babysitting movie fatigue.

    Did you know The King of Queens was on the air for nine seasons? Weird, wild stuff.

    Oh, and, yeah, Dave Foley plus drag is very proficient.