Dir. Lorene Machado. US. 2005. 85mins.

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 Bam Bam And Celeste's basic plot motor is obvious, rote and hasbeen done so many times before, more that it is very badly executed. Possiblythe fact that Cho came up with a first draft scriptin the space of a weekend - according to the press notes - is not necessarily agood starting point.

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.

Production companies
SALTY Features
Cho Taussig Productions
Nuit Blanche Productions

International sales

Executive producers
Michael Hakan
Julie Huntsinger

Eva Kolodner
Yael Melamede
Karen Taussig
Margaret Cho

Margaret Cho

Matthew Clark

Philip Harrison

Production design
John Chichester

Main cast
Margaret Cho
Bruce Daniels
Alan Cumming
John Cho
Elaine Hendrix
Jane Lynch