Raylene Delaney, aka Red (Krew Boylan), works as a real estate agent. When she is not working, her passion lies in all things Dolly Parton, including dressing up like her, re-enacting lines of her dialogue, and even singing her songs. For Red, Dolly is everything, and she even finds the many one-liners Dolly has said in the past still encouraging when she comes across a hurdle.
But when Red gets fired over a sexual harassment claim after misbehaving with staff and even her manager, she is forced to rethink her life. Soon, Red decides to aim big and do something completely different. Pouring herself a cup of ambition, she aims to become the ultimate Dolly Parton impersonator, which she hopes will lead to fame and fortune. Red’s auditions are successful, and she soon finds a romantic match- a man impersonating Kenny Rogers (Daniel Webber), who never breaks out of character. Now Red is starting to fall into a rabbit hole where she is becoming more like Dolly and a lot less Red. Can Red rediscover herself and learn who she is?
Firstly, if you’re going into this film expecting a biopic picture, you will be shocked. Seriously, Red is a comedy with many rude moments and humour. The film introduces many dramatic themes, especially Red learning to be happy with herself or wanting to get proper respect from others, including her mother.
When it comes to comedy, I found some moments that provided a minor chuckle, primarily due to Red’s attitude and determination to be Dolly. The film has other solid gags, but sadly, they are also repetitive and lack the original surprise. One example is when Red meets a professional impersonator of Elvis (Rose Byrne). There are some fun moments, but the more times Elvis reappears, the less funny it is and the more uninteresting. There are moments of comedy designed to shock audiences, and naturally, the reception to this will vary. Most of these crude gags didn’t work for me and left me baffled, as if the jokes were a major misfire. One example is when a character explains why her name is Teeth. This moment only left me stunned, with my eyebrows raised as it felt like a poor attempt to obtain a response from its audience.
As for performances, Krew Boylan as Red is great. She’s energetic, her line deliveries are excellent, and she’s fast-paced in every scene. Those who love Dolly will also be pleased to hear the actress does a fantastic job as a Dolly Parton impersonator, and fans who enjoy many of her songs will find joy in hearing them featured throughout the movie. However, while the performance is excellent, Red as a character is challenging to watch. Red has many moments that aren’t likeable such as the sexual harassment matter at the film’s start. Somehow the film tries to side with Red even though she has done the wrong thing. While I love the concept of Red going on a journey of rediscovering herself, it feels like the character is going around in circles, continually making poor choices that ultimately become painful to watch. Watching Red’s entire journey made the runtime feel so much longer than it truly was.
Overall, you’ll be shocked if you’re going into this film expecting a biopic picture. There’s a fun and pleasing performance on show here from the actress Krew Boylan who is energetic with excellent line delivery. Those who love a bit of Dolly will also enjoy the various musical numbers and the Kenny Rogers impersonator around the corner. However, while I admired that the film was following Dolly’s advice that “You’ll never do a lot unless you’re brave enough to try,” this wasn’t for me. While the performances are remarkable, I’m disappointed that I felt like the film dragged on longer than it did. Watching someone achieve self-discovery by going around in circles and continually making questionable choices is hard at times. The comedy and random gags don’t always land firmly, with most crude gags misfiring here.