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To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar (1995)

tomatometer

30

Average Rating: 5.5/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 7

No consensus yet.

audience

71

liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 50,074

My Rating

Movie Info

Patrick Swayze plays Vida Boheme, a classy and long-reigning drag queen. With his understudy Noxeema Jackson (Wesley Snipes), Vida wins a New York drag stage contest and an all-expenses-paid trip to Hollywood. But when Miss Chi Chi Rodriguez (John Leguizamo) cries at having lost the contest, soft-hearted Vida cashes in the airline tickets so the three of them can take a car out West. The film becomes a strange sort of buddy road movie, with the three cross-dressers traveling across the American

PG-13,

Comedy

Douglas Carter Beane

Jan 7, 2003

Universal Pictures

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All Critics (33) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (19) | DVD (3)

A politically correct comedy about drag queens? This is the American response to the superior Aussie flick Adventures of Priscilla. Macho Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze, and John Leguizamo can't lift it above the routine.

December 31, 2006 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Leguizamo's Chi Chi is the only one who looks anything like a drag queen, let alone a woman; yet we are asked to believe that it's Swayze's breathy Vida and Snipes' squealing Noxeema who've got their stocking seams straight.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Kidron's direction stays flat even when the actors are funny. It doesn't help that the screenplay, by Douglas Carter Beane, is so thin that one of its biggest events is the three main characters' having car trouble.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Imagine, "Wong Foo" suggests, a world where people stopped judging one another and simply surrendered to the silliness that's dormant inside us.

June 18, 2002 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Improbable as this all sounds, "Wong Foo" is a great deal of fun and a small step forward in Hollywood's depiction of homosexuals.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Screenwriter Douglas Carter Beane pilfers not just plot elements from "Priscilla," but also stirs in big chunks of "Fried Green Tomatoes," "Bagdad Cafe," "Auntie Mame," "The Music Man" and "Cinderella."

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For all its message about self-discovery and self-respect, this is really a 100-minute opportunity to titter at hunks in heels.

June 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Sun

I was turned on, and it really confused me.

October 20, 2005
7M Pictures

No, it's not all that good, but it's too good hearted to dislike.

February 16, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Carried on the strong shoulders of its protagonists, scene-stealers all, the film succeeds in being fun and even touching, though the story itself is somewhat thin and cliched.

June 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

The best thing about this movie is all the free advice it offers. As Vida warns before she leaves town, "Believe in yourself, and moisturize - this I cannot stress enough."

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco Examiner

For some, the film's unabashed sentimentality and fairy-tale quality may go too far, but To Wong Foo is such a delight that it's easy to overlook the few awkward moments.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Leguizamo and Swayze - and especially Snipes - just seem like Hollywood stars putting on a cabaret show. There is never any sense that these guys are real people.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Although it borrows heavily from last year's Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, To Wong Foo is still quite a bit different and takes cross-dressing into realms I never knew existed.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Audience Reviews for To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar

Released one year after the Australian drag queen comedy 'Priscilla', Hollywood had taken notice of its popularity and as Hollywood does, it churns out a US version. Now this film isn't a remake of 'Priscilla' but quite clearly a leap on the drag queen bandwagon in hopes to hover up the new found success.

The outcome? need I really tell you?? its obvious isn't it, a poor equivalent naturally. You see the thing is, the Aussie flick was original and had a heart, a soul, there was a good story inside that made you love and care for the characters. The very real sensitive issues weren't rammed in your face, plus the casting was excellent and didn't utilize big name stars (at the time...apart from Stamp).

This glitzy US contender had none of that, the plot is as predictable as the rising sun. Two drag queens (and another that hitches along which they call their apprentice) go off on a road trip across the US to enter into a kind of national Miss Drag Queen contest in CA. Along the way they get stranded in a small male chauvinistic run town where...guess what! they manage to change the towns bigoted ways (the men) and help the women become more independent and free from their male overlords.

Oh and they also assault a bigoted corrupt redneck police office type played perfectly by Chris Penn. He chases them through the film and displays the kind of prejudice you would expect whilst also begging the question, is his character in the closest perhaps?.

So you have every sexist homophobic angle you can think of covered just to try and scrape together an interest with the right audience and get on their side. The whole plot is so contrived and phony, no soul here, just a money spinner. A typical Hollywood production that forces the ideas of female oppression in a male-dominated society and homophobia down your throat, so heavy and obvious its hokey.

I think the main hook was just the fact that three big tough butch male stars (well two) are the drag queens. Normally in serious films or violent action films, Swayze and Snipes are the draw. Swayze actually does look quite elegant and beautiful as a wealthy looking middle aged female in 50's (I think) attire. Snipes doesn't fair quite so well frankly but Leguizamo as the third queen is again surprisingly cute looking, but bordering on slutty n easy which is his Latino character not my desires.

So really the only thing here was the shock value of seeing two hard action heroes and a serious character actor play screaming queens, that's why they cast them I reckon. Although I must give Swayze his dues, he does play the part of a man struggling with his inner feelings well. The battle against his disapproving parents is briefly played on but overall Swayze definitely musters some tender moments.

Apart from that there really is nothing else here to shout about, good morals maybe, but overdone. Had the Aussie film never existed then this would be looked upon as much more original and fresh instead of an average follow up. The soundtrack isn't in the same class as 'Priscilla', there are too many cheesy cameos, the plot is so artificial/mainstream/forced/laboured with an ending that rips off 'Spartacus' and of course overall, its just not as good as 'Priscilla'.
April 19, 2014
phubbs1

Super Reviewer

Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes, John Leguizamo, Stockard Channing, Blythe Danner, Beth Grant, Melinda Dillon, Chria Penn, Jason London, Arliss Howard

DIRECTED BY: Beeban Kidron

This is one of those movies that I can watch anytime. It's a bit disturbing seeing these well known actors dressed up as females, and it just can't be me who thinks Wesley Snipes looks crazy scary.
But like I was saying I can watch this movie anytime. I stop and watch it every time it's on t.v. Guilty pleasure kinda film.
The acting isn't all the great neither is the story. But its entertaining none the less. Its has funny moments and tries to tackle a serious issue of spousal abuse. But it just all ends up being a silly movie. Its great fun with a great cast and supporting cast. Give it a watch if you haven't.
April 15, 2010
LWOODS04
♥˩ƳИИ ƜѲѲƉƧ♥

Super Reviewer

Good old fashion camp fun, not as good as Priscilla but still funny. John Leguizamo is fantastic!
September 21, 2009
SirPant

Super Reviewer

I was expecting something more but this just fell flat. It was enjoyable enough and fun but not a laugh-out-loud comedy. Patrick Swayze has got to be the worst drag queen ever. John Leguizamo was almost believable.
September 2, 2009
purplemegan

Super Reviewer

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