6.4/10
15,423
107 user 79 critic

Flawless (1999)

An ultraconservative police officer suffers a debilitating stroke and is assigned to a rehabilitative program that includes singing lessons - with the drag queen next door.

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ON DISC
3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Nashom Benjamin ...
Scott Allen Cooper ...
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Tia
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Sonny (as John Enos)
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Storyline

Walt Koontz, a homophobic guy, ends up with paralyzed vocal cords because of an unfortunate stroke. His therapy includes receiving singing lessons from a neighbor who is not only openly flamboyant but also a pre-op transgenderist. Both of them are equally prejudiced; Koontz against homosexuals and the neighbor against close-minded straight people. Written by Rob Reser - The Movie Kid - <moviekid@filmspot.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Nobody's Perfect. Everybody's Flawless See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language and strong violence | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

24 November 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Makellos  »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,590,155 (USA) (28 November 1999)

Gross:

$4,485,485 (USA) (5 March 2000)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert De Niro's face would sometimes ache for days after tensing his jaw to speak in his post-stroke scenes. See more »

Quotes

Rusty Zimmerman: It costs a lot to look this cheap.
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Crazy Credits

During the credits, DeNiro and Hoffman sing the "Name Song" together while staying in character. See more »

Connections

References The Miracle Worker (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Ashley's Song
Written by Joel Schumacher, Bruce Roberts & Rory Cochrane
Performed by Rory Cochrane
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User Reviews

 
Offbeat movie with a point
15 May 2000 | by (Atlanta, GA) – See all my reviews

‘Flawless' is an offbeat story about Walter Koontz (Robert De Niro) an ex-cop who suffers a stroke and loses partial ability to speak. In an effort to regain some of his speech capabilities it is recommended to him that he take singing lessons. So he decides to ask his neighbor Rusty (Philip Seymour Hoffman), who is a female impersonator, to give him singing lessons. This is an unlikely pairing because Walter is a belligerent homophobe.

This film was written and directed by Joel Schumacher. His story, though peculiar, makes some powerful points. This is a story about hatred, bigotry and reconciliation. Walter learns through his disability who his friends really are, and who they are not. It seems that the people he hates treat him a lot better than the people he thought he loved. Ultimately, he is able to look past his prejudices to find the human elements that make him and Rusty not so different after all.

This was an excellent character study of both main characters, giving a lot of insight into the motivations and lives of each. Unfortunately, the story meanders too often to irrelevant characters and scenes that don't really contribute much (like the Gay Republicans). Schumacher would have been better to concentrate on the relationship between Walter and Rusty rather than digressing so frequently into Rusty's relationships with his friends.

De Niro was outstanding in this film. Not only was he excellent in the emotional portrayal of a man having to deal with a sudden debilitating stroke, but he was very realistic in his portrayal of the physical disability itself. The combination of his struggles to do the simplest of tasks and the obvious look of anguish and frustration on his face was poignant and affecting.

Hoffman brought a lot of emotional energy to his part, and his imitation of a drag queen was passable, though somewhat forced and unnatural. Wilson Jermaine Heredia, who played Cha-Cha, the winner of the Flawless contest, was a much more convincing queen.

I rated this film a 7/10. This is a good film that helps us understand that the remedy for the fear wrought of our differences is understanding, not hatred. In that respect it makes an important contribution. If cross dressing and blatantly gay themes put you off, perhaps you should defy your inclinations and see it.


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