Seriously Red

Posted on February 9, 2023 at 5:10 pm

Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content, nudity and some language
Profanity: Strong language
Alcohol/ Drugs: Drinking and drunkenness
Violence/ Scariness: Scenes of surgery
Diversity Issues: A theme of the movie

Copyright 2023 Dollhouse Pictures
“Seriously Red” was written by Krew Boylan to take the greatest possible advantage of the talents of its star…Krew Boylan, with an assist from the infinite talents of the iconic superstar Krew Boylan cosplays as throughout the film: Dolly Parton. Dolly famously said, as quoted in the film, “Find out who you are and be that on purpose.” In “Seriously Red,” Boylan takes a while to follow that advice, as the first part is about becoming a better Dolly and it is only near the end that she begins to think about what it means to be a better Red. Significantly, “Red” like her curly hair, is her character’s nickname, but as Dolly, she hides it under a big, pouffy blonde wig.

Red’s job is valuing houses for sale and we can see in the first scene that she is sympathetic to the homeowner and also that she can’t wait to get to what she really loves, dressing as Dolly for an office party. The only other person in costume, though, is the Elvis impersonator hired to emcee the event (Rose Byrne, a close friend of Boylan’s and a co-producer on the film). Red braves it out and clearly enjoys the reaction from the crowd. But the next day, it turns out that her ebullience went too far. She is fired for inappropriate behavior, including grabbing the crotches of some of the attendees.

And so, she begins to explore the possibility of making a living as a full-time Dolly Parton impersonator. Channeling Dolly gives her courage and soon she is a success, especially when she teams up with a man so deeply into his Kenny Rogers impersonation that he will not give out his real name. He is Kenny offstage as well as on (Daniel Webber). He is drawn to Dolly; all he sees is Dolly, not Red. And that is fine with Red…for a while.

Boylan has the creamy skin and bright blue eyes to shine in the Dolly moments. The musical numbers, presented with sweetness and sincerity, are a lot of fun. The real life scenes are not as lively or effectively staged, including a detour to get breast augmentation surgery and encounters with Red’s disapproving mother, old friend who is growing impatient, and the people she deals with as she becomes more successful. Bobby Cannavale (also a co-producer) is so good as an impresario of impersonators (and former Neil Diamond performer) we wish we could see more of him, and learn more about the cosplayers on stage and in the audience. Like Red herself, the movie is more confident and appealing when it’s all dressed up in spangles and a high blonde wig. Dolly knows that it’s what is inside that counts. Boylen has not yet learned that lesson.

Parents should know that his film has nudity and sexual references and situations, cosmetic surgery, and strong language.

Family discussion: If you were going to be a celebrity impersonator, who would you be? Why was it hard for Red to be happy being herself?

If you like this, try: “Dumpling” and “Outrageous” and Dolly Parton films like “Steel Magnolias” and “9 to 5”

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Drama Movies -- format Musical
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