Ever since Dustin Hoffman put on his glorious auburn wig and invoked the spirit of a feisty southern soap-opera actress in 1982’s Tootsie, a whole genre has been made out of cross dressing men who get in over their heads before giving up the ruse (we’re looking at you Mrs. Doubtfire and Big Momma’s House.) But few, if any, of these mainstream comedies have dared explore the queer undertones of such a dramatic conceit – which is why it’s refreshing to see the upcoming indie comedy Hurricane Bianca give a much-needed LGBT twist to the genre.
Written and directed by Matt Kugelman, Hurricane Bianca invokes the well known drag queen Bianca Del Rio: the multi-award winning drag persona of Cuban-Honduran performer Roy Haylock. The name will no doubt be familiar to fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race, since Del Rio took a much-deserved first-place finish in that show’s sixth season and became the first Latino to take home top honors.
The film focuses on a gay New York teacher who takes up a new position at a Texas high school, only to be outed and summarily fired. In an effort to get his job back, the slighted schoolteacher suits up and takes on the persona of Bianca Del Rio, landing himself right back in the same position – but with a lot more attitude. The film is shot in a slick style with all the bold colors and over-the-top hilarity you would expect from a drag queen of Del Rio’s stature. To boot, a supporting turn from SNL vet Rachel Dratch and cameos from fellow drag queens Alyssa Edwards and Joslyn Fox (with a brief but necessary appearance from RuPaul) gives Hurricane Bianca all the ingredients for a cult classic.
Check it out on VOD through Netflix, Amazon, Vimeo, and more.