“A VERY SORDID WEDDING”— Back to Texas with the Gang

“A Very Sordid Wedding”

Back to Texas With the Gang

Amos Lassen

I have been a huge fan of Del Shores ever since I first saw “Sordid Lives” which now finally has a sequel with some of the original cast. The people who live in Winters, Texas are still as loony as ever even though age has made them a bit more tender.

It is now2015 and Ty (Kirk Geiger), who was coming to terms with his sexuality in the first film, is now legally married to a man. His mother, Latrelle (Bedelia), is still living in Winters, but she is not the same difficult a person as she once was, although she’s still got an edge when pushed. However, when she learns that she’s going to become a grandmother, she realizes that she has not fully opened up as she should.

Latrelle’s sisters are in their own worlds. Sissy (Dale Dickey) is still chain smoking and LaVonda (Ann Walker) is flirting with love. Then there is Brother Boy (Leslie Jordan) who is now out of the mental institution but still plagued by visions of the psychiatrist who tried to turn him straight. He’s working on a new drag act where he’ll play three queens of country music. However he gets fired and ends up on a road trip with a serial killer.

There is a problem in Winters. The US Supreme Court has just decreed that same sex marriage should be legal across the United States, but the new Baptist preacher there has decided to organize an ‘anti-equality’ drive, in the hope of making sure that no gay marriage will ever happen in their county. Some of the residents of the town back this prejudice and begin using bible verses to support it while but others come together to try and put a stop to the bigotry.

I believe that one of the reasons that “Sordid Lives” has always been fun is because the female characters often insult one another in wonderful ways. We again have that here with the new actors hurling insults wonderfully. Ion fact, we become so involved with them that the plot fades away for a while.

If you have not seen either “Sordid Lives” or the series based on it, you might feel a little lost in the beginning but that passes and you will soon be rolling with the cast. When things speed up, you will be smiling with the rest of us. Bonnie Bedelia and Dale Dickey give a good deal of heart to the film and we laugh at the adventures of Jordan as Brother Boy. However, there is a note of sadness as we realize how some of us are affected by aging (that does NOT include me, however). We also see the evils of homophobia and as absurd and silly as this film gets, there is a sweetness to it. I am not going to disclose who is getting married because that is part of the fun.

I loved seeing Sissy Hickey reading the Bible from cover to cover, trying to make some kind of sense out of what it really says about gay people.  Her niece Latrelle has finally divorced her husband Wilson (Michael MacRae) who has taken up with a hot young gold digger (Katherine Bailess).  Latrelle’s now out and proud gay son Ty is on his way back to town with his black lover (T. Ashanti Mozelle) and news of their own.  Her sister LaVonda is being blackmailed to sit with the sick and afflicted. LaVonda’s best friend Noleta (Caroline Rhea) meets a hot younger man (Aleks Paunovic) while visiting her awful mama (Carole Cook) in the hospital.  G.W. (David Steen) has new fiberglass legs after Noleta burned his old ones is still feeling guilty and mourning Peggy.  Nearly incoherent barfly Juanita (Sarah Hunley) has moved from her obsession with Vacation Bible School roosters to the royal family while Wardell (Newell Alexander) and Odell (David Cowgill) still fight at the bar Brother Boy hasn’t been back to Winters since Peggy’s funeral, and he’s working at a tragic little gay bar in Longview, having added Loretta and Dolly to his new medley act “We Three Queens of Oper-y Are” till a chance meeting with a dangerous criminal (Emerson Collins) forces him out on the run.  

 An anniversary memorial service is being planned in honor of Peggy at Bubba’s Bar while the Southside Baptist Church is planning an “Anti-Equality Rally” to protest the advancement of same-sex marriage, spearheaded by Vera Lisso (Lorna Scott) and Mrs. Barnes (Sharon Garrison.)  Both events are to take place on the same night, so the cast of colorful characters are all on a collision course for shenanigans and fireworks!  Along the way a host of new faces arrive in Winters including Ty’s man, Latrelle’s ex-husband and his gold digger, the new fire and brimstone preacher (Levi Kreis), Noleta’s mother, several drag queens and a bisexual serial killer, all swept into the adventure on the way to the surprise wedding. Could we possibly want things to be any crazier?

“Sordid Lives” was (among other things) about coming out in a conservative southern world, A Very “A Very Sordid Wedding” looks at  bigotry and what happens when gay marriage comes to communities and families that are not quite ready to accept it.   Del Shores’ trademark comedy and his much-beloved Sordid Lives characters to deal with these important current social issues is everywhere as is the very real process of accepting family for who they are instead of who we might want them to be. For the dysfunctional folks of the small suburban town of Winters in Texas, it looks like time stands still.  This time we have a contemporary issue in the story to get all the Town’s homophobes worked up about when the handsome but bigoted new Church pastor  wants to have an Anti-Equality Rally. There is a surprise cameo by one of our favorite actresses but what really makes this film so much fun is seeing the cast having a great time making this film and then sharing it with us.

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