A few weeks ago I got to attend a special screening of Del Shores' A Very Sordid Wedidng, the lastest sequel in the Sordid Lives' saga. Right from the start, I felt as though, I had come back home to Winters, Texas. Despite a few cast changes, everything I love about the Sordid Lives brand was still there. Seeing "Latrelle," "Brother Boy," "Noleta," "Sissy," "Dr. Eve," "Wardell," "Odell," "Ty," "Juanita," "Vera," "G.W.," and "LaVonda" provided me with a sense of comfort that is the heart of Sordid Lives.
I love the way Del updated the script to include the passing of marriage equality. It was great how he progressed the show with this addition. Just like when Sordid Lives first started, the big theme was coming out and now all these years later, Del is still tackling the important issues faced by the gay community. It will be interesting to see what the next sequel will bring (Del, you see how I'm putting this out there already, that I want another installment?!?).
But before we get that new film, let's walk down the aisle of A Very Sordid Wedding. Hands down the best part about this film was the way Del set it up. For those of us who were already fans of the Sordid Lives play/film/TV series, it's a real homecoming. For someone who has never seen anything Sordid Lives, Del has perfectly outlined who everyone is, what their relationship is to one another, and a brief history of their storyline.
So, let's throw some rice and celebrate this terrific film! "Brother Boy" is still in the mental hospital worshipping the late great Tammy Wynette, but this time around, he's added THE legendary Dolly Parton & Loretta Lynn to the mix. Leslie Jordan rocks it as "Brother Boy," keeping him living life on his terms and nobody else's. I have so much admiration for "Brother Boy's" courage to be true to who he is, despite all the teasing he gets. "Dr. Eve" is still tormenting "Brother Boy," but in a completly new and inventive way. Love Rosemary Alexander's portrayal of her! "Latrelle" is still learning how to accpet her son "Ty," but she's getting there. I feel she has come a long way since we last saw her. There is no other like Bonnie Bedelia (And the winner is....).
"Noleta" is still enjoying her freedom from "G.W." and wanting to get laid by every man possible. At least this time, she has stepped up her game and gotten herself a real hunk! I just adore Caroline Rhea! She is such a great comedic actress and brings all her comedy tricks to this role. "Sissy" continues to quote the Bible while trying to accept the societal changes happening around her, but struggling. I do miss Beth Grant as "Sissy," but did enjoy seeing Dale Dickey back in the role. Then there's "LaVonda," played by the incredible Ann Walker. "LaVonda" has gotten herself in to a bit of trouble in this new tale, but as usual, she figures a way to get herself out of it. Ann just gets it and brings it all back!
Let's not forget "Juanita" and "Vera," played by Sarah Hunley and Lorna Scott respectively. There's not a moment when these two are on screen that laughter was not coming out of my mouth. Every scene with them was funnier than the one before! I couldn't get enough of them. "Ty" is still outspoken, making waves, changing people's minds. Kirk Geiger steps back into the role he originated, so it was nice to see him, but I did miss the depth that Jason Dottley brought to the role of "Ty."
I love the way Del paid homage to our dear Rue McClanahan (who played "Peggy" on Sordid Lives: The Series). Rue was such an integral part to the show, I definitely missed seeing her in this new story.
And no "Bitsy," meant no Olivia Newton-John.
As for the new characters Del added into A Very Sordid Wedding, all of them integrated very well into the story. My favorites: "Billy Joe Dobson" (played by the sexy Emerson Collins), "Abernatha" (played by the one and only Whoopi Goldberg), "Kyle" (played by the delightful T. Ashanti Mozelle), "Hortense" (played by the divine Carole Cook), "Hardy" (played by the hunky Aleks Paunovic), "Jimmy Ray," (played by the ever wonderful Levi Kreis), and "Marty" (played by the hilarious Alec Mapa).
There are a lot of twists and turns in A Very Sordid Wedding, which kept me on the edge of my seat. I was engulfed the whole time and didn't want the movie to end. That is all because of the genius writer that is Del Shores! One moment I was laughing, the next moment crying, then right back to laughing and a few jaw drops along the way. Not everyone can write so fluently, but Del can and always has!
A Very Sordid Wedding is just what the doctor ordered, especially in these trying unsettling times. A Very Sordid Wedding gives us the hope we are looking for. It shows us love will always win over hate. It's demonstrates that we can all grow and be more accpeting of others. It's a film that will leave a smile on your face long after it's over.
If you missed my interview with creator Del Shores and star Ann Walker, you can watch it here!
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