Can a homophobic former rent-a-cop find happiness learning to sing with a man in a dress? That's the big question in this comedy-drama. A retired security guard (Robert De Niro), deeply conservative and set in his ways, falls victim to a debilitating stroke. His doctors prescribe an extensive program of physical therapy once he's released from the hospital, including singing lessons to help him regain his full powers of speech. As it turns out, there's a vocal instructor living next door to the guard, so he signs up only to discover that his new teacher is a flamboyant drag queen awaiting a sex-change operation (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Written and directed by Joel Schumacher, Flawless also stars Wilson Jermaine Heredia and Daphne Rubin-Vega, both of whom first gained notice in the Broadway musical +Rent, as well as Rory Cochran and Barry Miller. … More
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Critic Reviews for Flawless
Outdated and schematic, this two-character melodrama belongs to the 1970s, when transsexuals were "novel" dramatic persona; even the gifted Philip Seymour Hoffman is defeated by the writing and direction.
Its weary clichés and flat comic bits are apparently supposed to be fresh and insightful.
You need a pair of huge, hairy ones to make a picture this bad and call it "Flawless."
"Flawless" is contrived and overly schematic, but De Niro and Hoffman are such good actors that it never slips into pat sentiment.
So awful it just might put an end to Hollywood's hypocritical infatuation with men in drag as symbols of its own supposedly liberated sexual attitudes.
...a well-balance work that captures the often jaw dropping performances by the dancers.
What's worse than a film directed by Joel Schumacher? How about a film written and directed by Joel Schumacher?
De Niro and Hoffman deliver the goods, but they are lost within a cockamamie, violent subplot that pulls down everything.
a piece of junk jewelry even Robert DeNiro and Philip Seymour Hoffman can't make sparkle. Heaven knows they try, though.
Hoffman, who until now has played supporting roles in films such as "Boogie Nights" and "Happiness," proves a powerful peer for his macho co-star, even in stiletto heels.
Joel Schumacher has served up a big, steamy Butterball with all the trimmings.
The involvement of several real-life drag queens contributes to both the exhuberence, authenticity, and sheer panache to mark something of a return to form for the idiosyncratic director.
There's a nice moment or two, and the two central performances are OK, but it's grindingly predictable, and, for all its good intentions and celebration of diversity, it finally just rings false as a human drama.
Proves that neither a respected great like Robert De Niro or an up-and-comer like Philip Seymour Hoffman can save a film as foolish and misguided as this one.
Joel Schumacher has set himself up for the easy critical jab, so allow me to get it out of the way right here, right now: Flawless is anything but.
Seedy, grimy and unsightly as hell, even as it aspires to find the inner diva in us all, "Flawless" is what happens when a filmmaker has no sense of naturalism, no sense of realism and no real natural sense.
Schumacher sets gay screen images back about three decades with this noisy inanity.
While De Niro shows his usual skill, he takes a back seat to Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who presents a stunning performance.
Audience Reviews for Flawless
Philip Seymour Hoffman's master-class performance as troubled drag queen Rusty sadly goes to waste in this laughable film. "Rusty" stands as the lone well-written character in this pathetic "drama".
FLAWLESS's terrible directing, editing and writing, as well as its inappropriate soundtrack (a peppy samba for chase scenes/gunfights, really?) and a forgettable turn by Robert De Niro are no match for Hoffman's insane talent as a character actor.
Contrived nonsense. Robert De Niro & Philip Seymour Hoffman are better than this. Joel Schumacher however, is not.More
Another great film from Joel Schumacher, with a great performance from De Niro (as always) who very convincingly played a Stroke patient, but even more impressive was the performance given by Philip Seynour Hoffman, who delivered (in my opinion) his best performance to date. I love the way this unlikely friendship develops and is a very enjoyable film.More
I cannot believe that this film is so underrated... I found the story of Walter Koontz (Robert De Niro) - highly decorated "local hero" police officer - amazing! Well developed and done with warmness - warmness missing from most of the movies today! The real story starts when one night, Walter hears gunshots upstairs, and while ascending to help he suffers a stroke. Awakening with the right side of his body paralysed is something he is not used to, and his poor speech and posture gives a massive blow to his ego... so much that Walter becomes ashamed to be seen in public. Rusty (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is one of Walter's drag queen neighbours and the two are at-odds constantly due to their differing lifestyles. Rusty has a desire to undergo a transsexual operation, but lacks the money to do so. When Walter comes to Rusty to use his musical talents for voice lessons to overcome his impediment, the pair while at first argumentative and uncomfortable with the other begin to become friends.
Good acting from two real stars, but nothing spectacular. The screenplay is sometimes very rough around the edges... but it is real as it can be... Joel Schumacher did well in that part, but the directing was too formulaic, and that is the reason for the lower rating! This film could be so much better if he was a little bit braver!
- Rusty Zimmerman:
- On her knees at church begging Jesus, Mary, Joseph and every goddamned saint in heaven to forgive her for giving birth to Cruella de Fag. And being a slave to my father before he died. You would have loved each other. He thought Archie Bunker was a flaming Liberal.
- Rusty Zimmerman:
- You could never be as stupid as I think you are.
- Rusty Zimmerman:
- What are you, channeling Jesse Helms?
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