When My Big Fat Greek Wedding scored a surprise hit for comedienne Nia Vardalos, the former Second City star may have figured any old second act would do -- even a penny-dreadful rip-off of one of Hollywood's most beloved classics. Not so. A flop at the box office, lambasted by critics, and quite possibly the most unwatchable movie of the year, Connie and Carla labored mightily to update Some Like It Hot with the tale of two loud-mouthed showbiz wannabes (Vardalos and Toni Collette) who take it on the lam from a Chicago drug dealer who thinks they've filched a kilo of his coke and flee to L.A., where they disguise themselves as drag queens in a gay nightclub. Never mind the conceit that these cornfed pseudo-dragsters convince a far hipper, more observant transvestite crowd in West Hollywood that they, too, are men impersonating women; they also wow the locals with their awful caterwauling. Vardalos attacks the scenery like a starved hyena. Collette shrieks like a banshee, her jaw three inches from the camera.
Accessories to the crime include director Michael Lembeck (although it looks like Vardalos wore the pants on the set); an uncomfortable-looking David Duchovny, who bravely essays the part of a straight guy who falls for Vardalos's overwrought Connie without quite knowing why; and the great minds at Universal Pictures, who bankrolled this lame vanity project in hope of cashing in on the quickly dissipating Vardalos heat.
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Jack Lemmon, Marilyn Monroe, and Billy Wilder would be appalled, but have no fear: Their legacy is probably safe for another generation or two.