"Funny, Touching Lessons Marred by Negatives"
What You Need To Know:
SERIOUSLY RED is very entertaining, funny and touching, with great music. Screenwriter Krew Boylan does a brilliant job as the title character. Also, Bobby Cannavale performs a great rendition of Neil Diamond’s “I Am, I Said.” SERIOUSLY RED has strong moral, pro-capitalist lessons. It urges people to be the best, most honest version of themselves and to exercise their natural gifts. However, this positive content is marred by strong foul language, explicit nudity, bedroom scenes, brief substance abuse, and scenes where men dress as female celebrities as well as male celebrities. So, MOVIEGUIDE® considers SERIOUSLY RED excessive.
SERIOUSLY RED is a unique R-rated musical comedy about an unmarried Australian woman who leaves her job and starts performing as a Dolly Parton impersonator but loses herself in the performance when she has a romance with a man who impersonates Kenny Rogers onstage and never breaks character offstage. SERIOUSLY RED is very entertaining, funny and touching, with some great music, but the movie’s moral, pro-capitalist lessons encouraging people to be the unique, best and most honest version of themselves and to exercise their natural gifts are marred by strong foul language, explicit nudity, bedroom scenes, brief substance abuse, and scenes where men dress as female celebrities as well as male celebrities.
Raylene is a red-haired realtor in Australia who doesn’t really fit into the 9 to 5 grind. Nicknamed Red, Raylene is mostly known for her love of Dolly Parton, which borders on obsession, and her disregard for authority. When she dresses and performs at an office party as Dolly, an impersonator agent approaches her and gives her a card. The next day, her boss tries to fire her because Red got drunk and started grabbing people inappropriately. “You can’t fire me, I quit,” she tells the boss.
Red goes to the agent and starts auditioning as a Dolly Parton impersonator. The “copy” scene includes men performing as female celebrities and women impersonating male celebrities as well as regular impersonators, including a man named Kenny who bills himself as the world’s best Kenny Rogers impersonator. Kenny goes all out and never breaks character.
Red takes to this world like a fish to water. She even begins a hot and heavy romance with Kenny and soon lives with him, taking his professional advice about committing 100% to her Dolly Parton impersonation.
Red takes her new life a little too far and decides to get breast implants. For the first time in her life, she finally starts gaining her mother’s support and respect. This isn’t because of the breast implants, but because her mother finally sees that her daughter has a real talent. However, her best friend, a man named Francis with a partially formed left arm who’s clearly in love with her, expresses his strong disappointment in her. “If you’re busy being someone else,” he asks, “who’s busy being you?”
Eventually, Red has to make a hard choice. Sacrifice her identity and become the best Dolly Parton impersonator she can be? Or, risk giving up her fabulous lifestyle and become the best Raylene she can be?
SERIOUSLY RED is a funny, entertaining, touching trip into 1980s nostalgia, and the people who wish to keep it alive. It’s a lot of fun watching Red become Dolly Parton and the friends she makes along the way. The movie has a lot of great Dolly Party songs, including songs being sung by Dolly Parton’s own voice and songs sung by Screenwriter Krew Boylan, who also plays Red. There’s also a great rendition of Neil Diamond’s “I Am, I Said” by Bobby Cannavale, who plays the manager of an international troop of celebrity impersonators. In addition, SERIOUSLY RED has many quotes form the irrepressible Dolly Parton, including one advising people not to be so caught up in working for a living that you forget to have a life.
SERIOUSLY RED has a strong moral worldview stressing honesty, being true to your true self, being the best version of yourself instead of a copy of someone else, and not letting your vocation prevent you from living life. Despite that last lesson, the movie has strong pro-capitalist elements about taking advantage of the gifts with which you were born, financially and career-wise. In fact, the movie ends with a nice scene promoting exactly that as well as some of the movie’s other positive lessons.
Sadly, however, SERIOUSLY RED is marred by strong foul language, explicit nudity, three bedroom scenes that go too far, pre-marital affairs, and brief substance abuse. The movie also has scenes where men dress as female celebrities and women dress as male celebrities, along with regular male and female celebrity impersonators. However, those scenes don’t overtly seem to push a woke, leftist agenda.
All in all, though, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for SERIOUSLY RED. The movie’s female scriptwriter and director definitely could and should have made their movie more accessible to younger, broader audiences by making a few judicious cuts.
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