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Netflix has it in their list of movies as "To Die For", but when you watch the movie, it has the new title "Heaven's a Drag". See more »
I'm a complicated woman, you see. I think like a feminist, feel like a Catholic, but when I drink white wine I dream I'm a lesbian.
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The film was retitled "Heaven's A Drag." A black box with white letters covers the original title "To Die For." Though this new title was possibly given for the video release, "To Die For" is used in the end credits. See more »
I'm going to do something I've never done before--give a good rating to a movie that's so bad I could hardly watch 95% of it. That's because there are three very peripheral things about this movie that I like so much they go a long way toward compensating for the mess it is in general.
Just about every negative comment about this movie in other reviews is true. It's a muddled mess that doesn't know what it wants to be, trying at various times to be funny, touching, topical, sexy, tragic and transcendent, and succeeding at none of them. It doesn't even know what its title is. In the opening credits, it's called Heaven's a Drag; in the end credits and on the DVD, it's called To Die For. (It was released the year before Gus Van Sant's much more famous and completely unrelated To Die For, starring Nicole Kidman, so the title wasn't stolen; the same title had been used for a Dracula movie several years before either of these movies was made anyway.) Ordinarily this movie wouldn't deserve more than a couple of stars at most. But now for the good stuff, the three things that together move me to praise it despite its very serious flaws.
First of all, this movie has a huge heart. Practically nobody involved seems to have any talent at all. Everything a good movie needs--competent screenplay, direction, cinematography, acting, etc--is lacking. But its good intentions are as pure and true and clear as its execution is muddled. A lot of people cared a lot about this movie, and it shows. I don't know HOW it shows, but it does. I've never before rewarded good intentions alone in reviewing a movie, and I might not in this case either if the other two factors weren't working in its favor too.
Second, there's something very appealing and attractive about Ian Williams, who plays the drag performer Mark. His performance in this movie isn't much better than anything else about it, but the man himself is unusual and unusually interesting. His speaking voice, for one thing, is lovely.
Third (and I've saved the best for last) is Ruth Wallis's fabulous song "Queer Things (are happening to me)." The song plays during the opening credits and carries into the first two scenes, where Mark is preparing for and then doing his drag performance to it. (Another reviewer ridiculed the fact that this evidently is the only song Mark knows, but it's good enough to carry several whole drag careers single-handed, if you ask me).
I'd never heard this song before, and I'd never heard of Ruth Wallis, but it and she are a joy, and Williams's act accompanying it is superb. I must have watched the first two and a half minutes of the movie 20 or 30 times just for the delight of hearing the song and watching his act, and I haven't come close to being tired of it yet.
So for its big heart, for Ian Williams's personal charm, and most of all for "Queer Things," I heartily recommend watching the first two and a half minutes of this movie. That's not much, but it's well worth it.
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