Connie and Carla

Following the highly successful “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” would be a daunting task for anyone. However when the TV series based on the film failed to find an audience, writer and star Nia Vardolos came under the spotlight to prove that she could recapture the success she enjoyed with the film and was not a flash in the pan.

With her new film “Connie and Carla”, Vardolos has created a mixed bag that at times entertains and at others fails to work. Vardolos stars as “Connie” a dinner theater singer who along with her friend Carla (Tia Collette), perform shows while dreaming of making it big. One night they witness a crime and are soon on the run from criminals intent on silencing them. The duo arrive in Los Angeles and unable to find steady work; end up posing as drag queens in a gay nightclub. The two become an overnight success and soon are packing the room and becoming the rage of the gay community.

While things are going well for Connie and Carla some difficulties arise especially when the brother of one of the club performers arrives and Connie finds herself attracted to him. Jeff (David Duchovny) has come to re-establish relations with his brother after being shunned from the family for his lifestyle. Jeff is very uncomfortable with the lifestyle his brother has chosen but is determined to get past this and have his brother back in his life.

What follows is a typical comedy of errors as Connie attempts to win over Jeff without revealing her true identity. While funny at parts, the film suffers from a one-joke premise that seems run into the ground. There are only so many stage performances one can watch in a film before they become stale. Vardolos and Collette have a good chemistry with one another, but Duchovny seems as if he would rather be elsewhere as the part does not allow him to do anything other than his trademark deadpan and he seems to be going through the motions.

Vardolos is a talented performer yet her script is devoid of the charm and magic that made “Greek” a success. Vardolos is veteran of Second City and stand up, which is in some ways why the film comes across as something that would be better in a short sketch rather than a feature length film. Better luck next time, this one is a real drag.

2 stars out of 5