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Sordid Lives [Blu-ray]

Olivia Newton John , Leslie Jordan , Del Shores    Blu-ray
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)

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If you've got a taste for big hair, broad Texas accents, and gay rights, this mixture of white-trash comedy and coming-out melodrama is for you. Sordid Lives starts out as chicken-fried farce, as a funeral is prepared for a woman who died when she tripped over her adulterous lover's wooden legs; about midway the emphasis shifts to a drag queen unfairly held in a mental institution and the dead woman's grandson, an actor in Los Angeles who hasn't come out to his mother. The tone shifts wildly, and the humor depends on your fondness for the white-trash genre--if you like it, this will tickle your ribs; if you don't, it'll fall flat as the panhandle landscape. But it must be said that the cast (including Bonnie Bedelia, Beau Bridges, Delta Burke, and Olivia Newton-John) dives right in, no matter how over-the-top their characters get. --Bret Fetzer

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, Contrived July 14 2004
By A Customer
Perhaps it was sooooo built up as this amazing gut buster, that I viewed it with too high expectations. I was actually bored. I thought the writing was contrived and the acting so over the top that it was hard to find a shred of believability. Also - SHRILL goes a long way. I'm from Texas - I grew up with hicks and these characters were sub-standard imitations. I always miss that magical mix of the absurd with characters that you empathize with in Del Shores writing. One positive note, the slapstick element during the coffin scene helped pick things up a bit.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Horrible movie but I still quote it! Sept. 13 2003
By Cari D.
My friend from Denton, TX. told me about this movie, over and over and over and over laughing each time she told me all the funny parts. She told me all the funny parts so many times, that by the time she had me watch the movie, I thought it was the stupidest movie on the face of the earth. I guess one must acquire a certain "taste" for this "type" of humor, and I haven't got it.
Everytime she mentions it to others around us. I can't help but roll my eyes. She hates me for it, but it is funny all the same.
Don't get me wrong. There are some really kind of funny parts. There was one part where they were all talking in the bar and one guy said to the other to get off the cross they need the wood. I died laughing, but didn't through the rest of the movie.
My friend and I, are constantly quoting parts from the movie, and while we do, it brings us together in peace and harmony, and I think for one small moment in time that she forgets that I hate the movie with a passion.
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4.0 out of 5 stars White trash have their problems too Aug. 31 2003
As SORDID LIVES opens, Sissy (Beth Grant) is awaiting the funeral of her sister Peggy, who recently died in a cheap motel room after tripping over the detached wooden legs of her adulterous lover, G.W. (Beau Bridges), and smashing her head against the bathroom porcelain. As if Sissy doesn't have problems enough in the wake of five failed marriages, she's struggling to quit smoking, popping Valium like candy, and having to cope with the dysfunctions of assorted family members. Niece Latrelle (Bonnie Bedelia), whose husband is off with Jimmy Carter building homes for the poor, is in denial over the homosexuality of son Ty (Kirk Geiger), an aspiring actor out in L.A., and contesting the decision of her sister LaVonda (Ann Walker) to clothe Mom in her favorite mink stole for the burial in 110-degree Texas heat. Meanwhile, Peggy's son Earl (Leslie Jordan), a homosexual transvestite, has been confined to a mental institution for the past twenty years. Out in SoCal, Ty is suffering a sexual identity crisis, and is on his twenty-seventh therapist.
SORDID LIVES, a politically correct film espousing gay rights in a heavy Texas accent, won't appeal to everyone, but several of the performances are surprisingly excellent. Jordan is positively superb as Earl, who spends his life dressed up as CW singer Tammy Wynette, and has a permanent gig entertaining his fellow inmates in the asylum.
Also exceptional is Rosemary Alexander as the sexually frustrated Dr. Eve Bolinger, the institution psychologist assigned to Earl's case. Eve's career, as well as a lucrative book deal and an appearance on Oprah, are all dependent on her ability to successfully de-homosexualize her charge. Therapy has not progressed well after sixty-eight sessions, and Eve is prepared to take Earl's problem in hand, so to speak.
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5.0 out of 5 stars SORDID LIVES-Trash Never Looked So Good! Aug. 26 2003
Describing the story of SORDID LIVES is almost like running blindfolded through a labyrinth- the deeper you get into it, the more twisted it becomes. Here's the abridged version, and be sure to stop me if you've heard this before: Grandma Peggy has met an untimely end after having fallen over her lover's wooden legs. Her big-haired, foul-mouthed daughters descend upon their nicotine-deprived Aunt's sweltering trailer to plan the funeral and eat fried chicken, as the trailer park neighbor from hell (Delta Burke) makes a living out of disturbing the peace by brandishing her tongue and her 6-shooter. Throw in the arrival of a gay actor son from Los Angeles, a country singer wannabe, and "Brother Boy" who believes he is the saintly reincarnation of Tammy Wynette, and you have all the makings of a white trash car wreck that you can't help but watch in utter disbelief. This is the stuff that SORDID LIVES is made of.

What makes SORDID LIVES such a gem of a movie is the fact that these are real people in unreal situations. Each one of us knows at LEAST one of the characters in this film, and while the storyline is so over the top that you may need oxygen, the characterizations are beautifully written, skillfully directed, and ring true down to the most minute detail.
In the hands of lesser actors, this movie could easily have descended into sitcom hell, but this ensemble cast is, in a word, perfection. Delta Burke sheds her Designing Women persona for a much more multi-layered performace as the jilted wife, while Kirk Geiger's gay actor son portrayal is both understated and a perfect foil to his trailer park Aunts. Beau Bridges, Bonnie Bedelia, and Olivia Newton-John are all outrageously running amuk in their chacterizations, yet Beth Grant as the jumpy Aunt who just quit smoking, and Leslie Jordan as the Tammy Wynette Drag Queen, "Brother Boy" steal this movie. SORDID LIVES may be a black comedy about white trash....but this trash is DEFINITELY a treasure!
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One of the stupidest, most ridiculous boring movies ever!
This has got to be one of the WORST movies I've ever seen. It's not even funny from a camp perspective. I wanted to scream. DO NOT WATCH.
Published 8 months ago by MX5Guy
5.0 out of 5 stars Destined to be a cult classic of 'white trash' humor
This DVD came highly recommended by several friends. I was sure not disappointed. I've watched it a half-dozen times now and loved it every time. Read more
Published on June 20 2004 by "nolescout"
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny Funny Funny
I thought I was going to be sick I was laughing so hard, this was a very funny movie, I watched it with a group of friends and we all liked it.
Published on June 15 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it
i have watched this movie 5 times and just love it....funny funny funny,,,,i highly recommend when you are feeling down,,,plug this in....it will change your attitude...phil
Published on June 12 2004 by philip strauch
1.0 out of 5 stars Gay porn scenes, fake accents, horrible acting, bad writing.
Easily the worst flick ever made. I had to pull the disc out of the player during the graphic gay orgy scene. Olivia sings the B word and the S word. Read more
Published on June 3 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!!!!!
This was great!!! What a wonderful and charming movie!!!
Published on June 2 2004 by Ray
2.0 out of 5 stars A few laughs but a poor man's Steel Magnolias
I watched this with friends the other night having heard wonderful things about it. Maybe I went in with too high of expectations but I thought the characters were a bit too over... Read more
Published on May 26 2004 by M. G. Mora
5.0 out of 5 stars TEXANS, CAN BE FUNNY!!
Sordid lives, is one of the funniest flicks to come around, and for me to say that, really means its great, as I do not like most comedies. Read more
Published on May 19 2004 by "yaaah69"
5.0 out of 5 stars Bad Hair and Tammy Wynette
i had wanted to watch this movie for the longest time and i am so glad i finally did. this hilarious movie about white trash had me laughing so hard i amost fell off my couch. Read more
Published on April 5 2004 by Jeremy Boettcher
5.0 out of 5 stars Bad Hair and Tammy Wynette
i had wanted to watch this movie for the longest time and i am so glad i finally did. this hilarious movie about white trash had me laughing so hard i amost fell off my couch. Read more
Published on April 5 2004 by Jeremy Boettcher
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