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Overall Rating
3.1

Awesome: 10.17%
Worth A Look44.07%
Average: 11.86%
Pretty Bad: 13.56%
Total Crap: 20.34%

7 reviews, 17 user ratings


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Happy, Texas
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by EricDSnider

"Get it? 'Cause 'happy' means 'gay,' too."
4 stars

"Happy, Texas" is such a charming, piquant little film that it's no wonder the folks at Sundance loved it this year. Plus, there are gay characters, which practically ensures success at the festival.

While on a prison transfer, small-time criminals Harry Sawyer (Jeremy Northam) and Wayne Wayne Wayne Jr. (Steve Zahn) escape and steal an RV destined (unbeknownst to them) for a town called Happy, Texas. As fate would have it, Happy is exactly where Harry and Wayne happen to drive the thing, and they are assumed to be the RV's rightful owners: A gay couple named Steve and David who go from town to town putting on beauty pageants.

So in order to avoid being arrested, Harry and Wayne must not only pose as a gay couple, but also coordinate a beauty pageant for 10-year-old girls.

In the meantime, they plan to rob the local bank as soon as the pageant's over. Complications arise (as if there weren't enough already) when Harry starts to fall in love with bank president Jo McLintock (Ally Walker), who has no problem trusting Harry with her innermost girlfriend-type secrets because of course she thinks he's gay.

It's a loopy film, full of quirky characters and entertaining situations. Zahn is great as the dim-witted Wayne, who finds himself getting more and more attached to the sweet little girls he's directing in the pageant, while Northam is a good leading man for a comedy.

Adding another dimension to the film is William H. Macy as local sheriff Chappy Dent. Macy, who I'm convinced is great in everything he does (and he does about 10 movies a year lately, it seems), gives a performance that is both poignant and hilarious as Chappy finds himself in love with Harry.

The attitude toward homosexuality is pretty liberal, and almost unrealistically so. You'd think the small-town folks in a tiny Texas burg would find a couple of gay pageant directors unacceptable, but none of them do. And ultra-manly prison escapees Harry and Wayne pose as a "couple" with only brief apprehensions -- again, far less homophobic than you'd expect from a couple of tough criminals.

Still, the humor and charm of the film outweigh its potential for offense, unless the mere IDEA of homosexuals is offensive to you. This is a movie that doesn't try too hard to make a point; it just wants to make you laugh. And that it certainly does.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1789&reviewer=247
originally posted: 07/04/03 16:51:59
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User Comments

9/16/10 PAUL SHORTT ENJOYABLY ECCENTRIC COMEDY 4 stars
6/05/06 William Goss Works on its own modest terms. Predictable, but not pandering. 3 stars
11/08/05 DAve Blandford VERY VERY funny flick 5 stars
12/18/03 Andrea from Hungary Ally Walker is a good actress. 5 stars
2/02/03 y2mckay Well shit, I was writing a review, and the fuckng page blanked on me. Fuck it. It's Funny! 4 stars
4/09/01 ChErRyRiPe jesus on the crotch! this film was fucking hillarious! 5 stars
11/06/00 natasha funny and sweet- anything Steve Zahn says makes me laugh 4 stars
10/25/00 Elvisfan Not much to recommend or say I even enjoyed save for Macy, of course 2 stars
9/09/00 neilb quirky, but a little cliched 4 stars
9/04/00 DarcyElaine Adorable film with great performance from the almighty Bill Macy! 4 stars
8/02/00 Delusia The light is Green! 5 stars
2/19/00 Andi C. It was extremely funny!! 4 stars
2/12/00 Skye Chapman it entertained me 4 stars
1/13/00 furryfella william macy is a handsome devil and makes this film wonderful 5 stars
11/29/99 craig chill out guys, it's a comedy! 4 stars
11/18/99 El Tigre Some of the characters were likable (esp. William Macy's Chappy), but nothing memorable. 2 stars
10/11/99 rj love jeremy northam in this movie 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  01-Oct-1999 (PG-13)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  13-Jan-2000


Directed by
  Mark Illsley

Written by
  Mark Illsley
  Phil Reeves

Cast
  Ally Walker
  Ileanna Douglas
  M.C. Gainey



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