Stage Mother

AuthorJanuary 4, 2021

Thom Fitzgerald’s “Stage Mother” is a candy however ineffective comedy that cashes in on drag tradition’s new mainstream fame. While the film brings up a handful of essential matters, the way in which it handles points like drug dependancy and bodily abuse in the end really feel superficial and hole. Fortunately, just a few glowing performances salvage the present from turning into too maudlin.  Unfortunately, “Stage Mother” begins with the tragic demise of a drag queen on-stage at a struggling Castro District bar referred to as Pandora’s Box. Eventually, the information of Rickey’s (Eldon Thiele) overdose demise reaches his estranged Baptist mother and father, Maybelline (Jacki Weaver) and Jeb (Hugh Thompson), of their little Texas city of Red Vine. Overcome with grief, his mom boards a airplane for San Francisco, assembly her son’s accomplice Nathan (Adrian Grenier) and finest buddy Sienna (Lucy Liu) for the primary time and learns that Rickey’s bar has now handed on to her. Instead of promoting the place like her husband desires, Maybelline decides to maintain the bar alive in reminiscence of her son by turning a trio of drag performers into bona fide singers.  
Even with added drama from Sienna’s abusive date and one other drag performer, Joan (Allister MacDonald), fighting dependancy, Brad Hennig’s script is predictable. For probably the most half, these are usually not characters however templates, a hodgepodge of adjectives that characterize the thought of an individual however by no means fairly feeling like somebody you’ll meet. Outside of Maybelline’s unsurprising “normie mom learns to accept the fabulous gays” arc, Nathan is probably the following greatest character, and sadly, he’s solely received two moods: resentful or supportive. Grenier spends a lot time being indignant, it looks like an overdrawn mood tantrum. Another main a part of the story is Sienna, a blunt-smoking-while-pushing-the-baby stroller mother who seems to be extra like a nasty comic’s punchline about San Francisco. Eventually, we’re speculated to take care of her character as a result of she finds herself in hassle, however even that feels judgmental, as if it have been punishment for being a single mother attempting thus far. If predominant characters like Nathan and Sienna really feel empty, then what hope do performers like Cherry (Mya Taylor) and Tequila (Oscar Moreno) have? Even when surprising characters arrive, just like the charming lodge concierge August (Anthony Skordi) who befriends Maybelline, there’s a way of the place this story’s going, and it’s infrequently a shock.  To their credit score, many of the actors do what they will with what they’ve been given. Weaver adapts her powerful mama particular person to a degree of Baptist good who winces when somebody curses however isn’t afraid to wield a gun when obligatory. Skordi isn’t as convincing as a former hippie turned head concierge, however he sells the charming bit in addition to he can. The trio of performers—Joan, Tequila and Cherry—might not make one of the best singers, however they work nicely collectively. Moreno and MacDonald share the highlight at totally different occasions as probably the most out-going queens, and Taylor performs the shiest one of many three. As Cherry, she’s rather more soft-spoken but in addition coping with her personal set of issues as a trans lady, and she or he brings a world of persistence to the entire blow ups round her. Although Grenier’s indignant efficiency feels extra petulant than nuanced, Liu appears to have enjoyable enjoying her irresponsible character, making herself look as messy and weary as she presumably can.  However candy the story is, Fitzgerald by no means makes “Stage Mother” into one thing memorable. The cinematography is merely serviceable and the inventory footage-like sweeps of the town really feel terribly canned, like a TV present made on a budget. Honestly, the film’s premise is a little bit of a bummer in it of itself. It takes a God-fearing straight white lady to assist a gaggle of queer women and men get their groove again after a traumatic loss, and I’m undecided that storyline is as progressive because it needed to be. 

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Stage Mother

It was price it.

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