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Friday, October 28, 2011

Reeling Film Festival #1: Hollywood to Dollywood

Over the next two weeks I will be reviewing films that will be shown during Reeling 2011: The 30th Chicago Lesbian & Gay International Film Festival, which runs November 3 - 12. The festival will feature many groovy gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender comedies, dramas, documentaries and short films.

My first Reeling review is of the fun and surprisingly tension-filled documentary, Hollywood to Dollywood, directed by John Lavin. The film takes us on a road trip with gay twin brothers Gary and Larry Lane, who are determined to get their screenplay into the hands of their beloved idol, Dolly Parton. So they rent an RV - which, of course, they name "Jolene" - to take them 2,247 miles from Los Angeles to Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, where the country music superstar will be appearing at her amusement park's 25th anniversary celebration. Will the guys succeed in their quest to give Dolly the script they wrote especially for her? I was on the edge of my seat while waiting to find out.

A few of the brothers' Hollywood friends make cameo appearances, including screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and actor Chad Allen as well as the always hilarious Leslie Jordan. However, it's the personal story of Gary and Larry - two men still looking for acceptance from their religious mother in North Carolina - that ultimately makes Hollywood to Dollywood a more moving film than you might expect. I highly recommend that everyone join the boys on their cross-country journey, which is an enjoyable ride.

Show time: 7 pm, Wednesday, November 9, at Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema (2828 N. Clark)
Running time: 81 minutes

For a complete schedule of films, go to You can purchase tickets online (click here) or in person at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark). Reeling Members may also purchase tickets by phone (773-293-1447).

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