Monday, May 08, 2006

Request: Dolly Parton in the Movies

Today’s topic was suggested by Dusty and its Future Screen Roles for Dolly Parton. Now, for those of y'all out there who are saying "Dolly Parton? An actress!?" You're forgiven (for the moment) because you're young and her last movie-movie came out way back in 1992 (!). But Dolly is actually a pretty good one. See 9 to 5 and witness her confident comic appeal or Steel Magnolias to be amazed by her effortless charisma and warmth amidst lots of other actresses who are working up a considerable sweat to achieve same.

Yes, once upon a time Dolly's big hair, big charm, and big boobs met the big screen and all was well. [mostly.] These past few months Dolly has had a mini movie revival due to that simple & sweet Oscar nom'ed song from Transamerica and the DVD release of the beloved 9 to 5. Its classic title track is the other Oscar-losing Parton song. AMPAS: they just aren't nice.

Mini revivals are fun but let us dream of a world where Dolly is a big screen fixture. She doesn't exactly look like a real person these days (not that she was ever lacking for cartoonish appeal) so the roles will need to be a little outre as well in order to suit her, um, size. Dusty asked for 10 but I'm on a schedule here so you get 5.

05. "Lady MacBeth" Dusty already threw that one out there (I think as a joke) and even though it just sounds horribly wrong --Dolly being all warm and cuddly and Lady Macbeth being, well, not-- I love to see people in roles that are complete departures from anything they've ever done in the past. Could Dolly even play an evil person? Would the cosmos tear asunder? And how would she ever get through the "out damn spot" monologue without causing giggles. But I'd love to see Dolly try a villain so if Macbeth is too heavy, maybe "Ursula" (our banner girl this week) in a live action version of The Little Mermaid.

04. "Mae West"in a movie about the making of Myra Breckenridge. Oh come on. You know that'd be the best movie ever about a bad movie. Or at least the best since Ed Wood.

03. "Mame Dennis" in a remake of the musical Mame. Mame is by all accounts (including mine) a horrid movie. That's the kind of movies that should get remade. Of course a remake would have to add camp and glitzy value plus it would need to star people who can actually sing (Poor Lucille Ball in the original. This is not among her prodigious talents. Even with a score as repetitive and simple as Mame has). So in this fantasy new version Cher plays Mame's best friend Vera and Cyndi Lauper is the geeky awkward Gooch. Voila ~ several times better than the original already. Of course if that particular Jerry Herman musical is not available for a remake there's always...

02. "Dolly Levi" in a remake of his other musical about a rich matchmaking diva Hello Dolly. Dolly is much closer to the original Dolly's cartoonish grandeur (it doesn't get more cartoonishly grand than with the legendary Carol Channing) than Barbra Streisand was in the only film version. One of the great Oscar mysteries (at least to me) is how a film as dull and miscast as this one was nominated for 7 Oscars and won 3.

01. "Doralee Rhodes" in the sequel to 9 to 5. Lily, Jane, and Dolly have all hinted that they'd love for this to happen. So what on earth is Hollywood waiting for. Three huge stars that the public rarely gets to see in a sequel to a huge hit that almost everyone and their grandma loves? Remember when First Wives Clubs did so well for Bette, Goldie, and Diane?

Use the comments to suggest a topic or discuss this one.

previous requests: Best Child Actors (for John T) Classics I Haven't Seen (for Glenn) Favorite Animals (for Cal) Cher (for David) and The Sound of Music (for Becky)

tags: Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin, movies, celebrities, country music, Steel Magnolias, Jane Fonda, Mae West


Jason Adams said...

I want to see Steel Magnolias 2: Shelby's Revenge, where Julia Roberts comes back from the grave and kills off all of the other women from the first movie by choking them on cookies or orange juice in their sleep.

Ramification said...

I saw an interview with Jane Fonda last year and she speculated that they might do a 9 to5 sequel, not sure what happened to that.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for honoring a request by giving us some Dolly loving for our reading pleasure. I too wish Dolly would make a big screen comeback (P.S. did you hear how the loud the applause was for her when she performed at the Academy Awards this year?) but her last movie was actually a stinker called 'Frank McClusky, C.I.' or something like that. With a title like that, it obviously went straight to video and trust me, it was bad, just awful. I only Tivo'ed that movie because Dolly was in it, but even she could not bring me to finish it.


Anonymous said...

P.S. I just checked IMDb, and it was 'Frank McKlusky, C.I.' and came out in 2002. Let's just forget all about that one, shall we?


Glenn Dunks said...

I sure do love me some Dolly Parton! She deserved an Oscar nomination for 9 to 5 (really!) and she was best-in-show in Steel Magnolias and I could even sit through The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas because of her. If I had a vote, I would've awarded Dolly the gold for both "9 to 5" and "Travelin' Thru" - she's awesome.

But yes, back in the '80s she did look relatively normal compared to what she does now. But use it your advantage, Dolly!

She should make a guest appearance on "Nip/Tuck" and use that as a launching pad.

the cast of 9 to 5 were discussing a sequel just recently when the DVD was released (which I wanna buy purely for the Jane-Dolly-Lily audio commentary) but who knows if it'll happen. Studios just don't think older women get audiences in, but as you mentioned First Wives Club managed to make money. PLUS, it was a super-fun movie, just like the original 9 to 5

Mae West NYC said...

DOLLY PARTON as MAE WEST, good golly! By the way, MAE WEST and TEXAS GUINAN are the featured actresses in a free 15 Day Exhibition in Manhattan. For details, come up and see MAE:

Anonymous said...

Wow! I had no idea you'd dig the Dolly topic. I'm flattered and in stitches about your recommendations. You should solicit her sometime for movie career advice. I have read in places that Dolly, Lily and Jane would like to do a sequel to Nine to Five, and you can bet I'll be there. I guess she's currently penning the score for a Broadway take on the movie, though, so maybe if that's a hit, it'll get the ball rolling on the sequel, too.

P.S. I would totally buy myself another plane ticket to NYC to see Nine to Five on Broadway. I think I need a hobby.

Anonymous said...

As soon as Nine to Five is selling tickets for their Broadway Production I'm going online and buying two tickets, one for my cousin and one for me. We will luxuriate in Dolly's glory and enjoy the Big Apple together. I can't wait. I think it's supposed to be in 2007. Does anyone know how I can be more informed?