Dir. Lorene Machado.
Film-maker Lorene Machado and screenwriter Margaret Cho misfire with Bam Bam And Celeste, a featurefound wanting in too many departments, and potentially too offensive to many,to succeed.
US theatrical prospects mightsee it pick up play at midnight theatres, especially on gay circuits, but fewaudiences are likely to identify with it. The increasing number of cable andsatellite TV stations may help usher it towards a very particular audience butwider prospects beyond that are unlikely.
Overseas, some of the satiremight not seem so broad and absurd - for example the simplified portrayals ofrednecks - but there's no escaping the threadbare story and lack of actingcraft.
It's somewhat strange that afeature conceived, and written, by Margaret Cho - oneof the indie film world's champions of gay rights -should sport as its lead a cringe-inducing fey hairdresser whose solution tolife's problems is to find some random man to have sex with.
Bam BamAnd Celeste (Daniels and Cho)are best friends, 15 years after they graduated from high school. They live in Dekalb, Illinois, a nightmare version of a John Hughessuburb, where their neighbours shout that Cho is a'chink' and 'rice eater' and hurl rolled-up newspapers ather so that she falls into a pile of trash.
Eventually the pair decide to take a road trip and attempt to appear on makeovershow Trading Faces, in the processencountering obstacles and learning things about each other and themselves.
It's less that
Characters are too broad andover-reaching, while the audience is exposed to an endless stream of flat andobvious 'fag' and 'sidekick' jokes (Chois notably proud of her fag hag status) thateventually grate.
Possibly Chois simply too close to her material to view it objectively. Possibly there aretoo many inside jokes between her and her friends that do not translate to abroader audience. Either way, it does not work.
Cho Taussig Productions
Nuit Blanche Productions