Holiday Heart

  • 2000
  • Movie
  • R
  • Comedy, Drama

This made-for-cable valentine to a feisty cross-dresser over applies sentimentality the way drag queens apply mascara. Grieving over the death of his significant other, a hero cop, Holiday Heart (Ving Rhames) buries himself in dual duties as landlord and headliner of a popular transvestite revue. Big-hearted Holiday gives lodging to single mom Wanda (Alfre...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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This made-for-cable valentine to a feisty cross-dresser over applies sentimentality the way drag queens apply mascara. Grieving over the death of his significant other, a hero cop, Holiday Heart (Ving Rhames) buries himself in dual duties as landlord and headliner of a popular transvestite revue. Big-hearted Holiday gives lodging to single mom Wanda (Alfre Woodard) and her sensitive adolescent daughter, Niki (Jessika Quynn Reynolds), after rescuing Wanda from being beaten by a dope-dealing boyfriend. Becoming a surrogate parent to Niki and a mentor to Wanda fills a void in Holiday's life: He finds Wanda a job, coaxes her to deal with her substance abuse problems and encourages her to explore her writing aspirations. Then Wanda falls for Silas (Mykelti Williams), yet another drug-pusher, who declares that there's no room in his lady's crib for a gay third wheel. Alone again, Holiday thinks about traipsing off to Paris, while Wanda slides back into addiction. Although Silas does his best to wean Wanda off crack, she once again disappoints Niki, who sorely misses the unconventional-but-loving Holiday. While he continues to deal drugs (he sees it as a way to get his new family out of the ghetto), the fundamentally decent Silas re-evaluates his hostility to Holiday's flamboyance and admits that only Holiday can salvage Wanda's life. This strenuously overplayed tearjerker never fails to go for the big scene when a little more subtlety would have been more effective.

And although it's refreshing to see a kick-ass female impersonator, macho Rhames is unlike any lip-syncher who's ever conquered the drag stage. Ultimately, Rhames' gooey nobility rings as false as Woodard's scenery-chewing — these veterans could both learn something from newcomer Reynolds' underplaying.

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  • Released: 2000
  • Rating: R
  • Review: This made-for-cable valentine to a feisty cross-dresser over applies sentimentality the way drag queens apply mascara. Grieving over the death of his significant other, a hero cop, Holiday Heart (Ving Rhames) buries himself in dual duties as landlord and h… (more)

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