There is something truly magical about movies that are just effortlessly charming, endearing, and whimsical. Then there is something extraordinary when one writes and stars in the feature and pulls off that ever so delicate balance of amazement. In Gracie Otto’s feature-debut she teams with Krew Boylan to tell the story of one woman’s adventure to pursue herself and what she is passionate about, and that is none other than the legend herself Dolly Parton. Seriously Red is all about betting on yourself, giving yourself the chances you want, and making sure that you can discover whom you really are, even if there are a few bumps on the way.
Seriously Red focuses on Red (Krew Boylan) as she is a realtor who’s just not fitting in at work. During an awards ceremony for year-end achievements, she goes as Dolly Parton and gets relentless mocked at the ceremony. Despite there being other impersonators there, they do not get mocked by her colleagues and she takes it rather personally, leading her to have an epiphany. After realizing she isn’t happy in this life-choice she made for herself, she wants to give her Dolly a chance and her friend, Teeth (Celeste Barber), introduces her to Wilson (Bobby Cannavale) who gives her the chance at fulfilling her dreams. However, the life of any impersonator isn’t without its challenges, and the life of Dolly Parton certainly has some obstacles to overcome in of itself, such as her romance with Kenny Rogers (Daniel Webber). Red is convinced this is the life she wants for herself, and wants to prove to everyone, herself included, that she can make this work, but will all the extra conditions and changes to herself be too much for her to overcome?
There are so many things that make a film work, but one of the most important things is a strong script. Thankfully, Krew Boylan pens a marvelous script that is filled with love, comedy, and heartbreak, as well as self-discovery, all back set with the draw of Dolly Parton. There is something endlessly lovely about Dolly’s music and persona as she truly is one of a kind, and the idea of pursuing a Dolly impersonator as a career in a journey of self-discovery is truly heartwarming. Moreover though, there is only so far a script can go if there isn’t a cast that can support it. However, the entire cast of Seriously Red is absolutely fantastic and provides the comedy, heart-warming moments, and love that makes for one of the best movies to the early start of this year.
When making a movie about impersonators it is incredibly important to make sure the people who are playing the impersonators can truly grasp the real life figures they’re taking on and deliver the performances that are accurate. Krew Boylan’s portrayal and becoming of Dolly is truly spectacular and one that would make Dolly proud herself, while Daniel Webber’s Kenny Rogers seems to just be a full-blown clone of Kenny himself. Bobby Cannavale’s moment of being Neil Diamond is nothing shy of ear to ear smiling, and when the audience realizes who Rose Byrne is playing it will be a mind-blowing moment. With all the impersonators delivering incredible performances and accurate depictions, this movie is a love letter to following your dreams and becoming the best version of yourself you can, even if that is being someone else.
Seriously Red is so delightful and charismatic that the entire feature will have audiences smiling the entire time. There is so much to love and enjoy within Gracie Otto’s feature debut and Krew Boylan’s script that Seriously Red will turn you red in the face from enjoyment. In such dark times it is refreshing to have a movie filled with such joy, passion, and love. “Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life” – Dolly Parton
Screening during the 2022 SXSW Film Festival.
SXSW Screening Information:
*Sunday, March 13th, Screening @ 7:00 pm CT, Alamo Lamar D
*Monday, March 14th, On-line Screening @ 9:00 am CT
*Monday, March 14th, Screening @ 7:00 pm CT, Violet Crown Cinema 1
* Monday, March 14th, Screening @ 7:30 pm CT, Violet Crown Cinema 3
*Friday, March 18th, Screening @ 8:00 pm CT, Stateside theatre
Final Score: 4.5 out of 5.