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"HAPPY, TEXAS"
(1999) (Jeremy Northam, Steve Zahn) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Mild Extreme Mild Heavy
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Minor Minor Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Moderate Minor Mild Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: Posing as gay beauty pageant consultants and plotting to rob the local bank, two escaped convicts instead find themselves falling for the small town charm and residents of Happy, Texas.
PLOT:
Harry Sawyer (JEREMY NORTHAM) and Wayne Wayne Wayne, Jr. (STEVE ZAHN) are two smalltime convicts on a Texas chain gang. When an altercation with convicted murderer Bob Maslow (M. C. GAINEY) results in a prison van crashing, the three escape with Maslow headed one way and Harry and Wayne, still chained together, another.

Finding and stealing an RV owned by Steven and David, two professional beauty pageant organizers who help coach little girls for local contests, Harry and Wayne then find themselves in more trouble than they could imagine. With a lawman (RON PERLMAN) on their trail, they stop on the outskirts of the small town of Happy, Texas where the local sheriff, "Chappy" Dent (WILLIAM H. MACY) mistakes them for the pageant organizers, who also happen to be gay.

Realizing they need to lay low for a while, that they'll get paid for their pageant work, and that the local bank, run by Josephine "Joe" McClintock (ALLY WALKER), is loaded with money and seems like easy pickings, the two decide they can act like the gay couple, despite knowing nothing about them or beauty pageants.

While Harry has Wayne work with the local girls and their schoolteacher, Ms. Doreen Schaefer (ILLEANA DOUGLAS), he sets out to study the bank. As the two then continue their ruse and become more closely involved with the local townsfolk as the "Little Fresh Squeezed" pageant draws nearer, they never imagine the romantic and criminal repercussions that are soon to follow.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Some might, but unless they're fans of someone in the cast, this probably won't be on most kids "must see" lists.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For language, sexual content and some violence.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JEREMY NORTHAM plays a charming, but escaped convict/con artist who helps steal an RV and then poses as someone else while plotting to rob a bank. After he ends up falling for the bank owner, however, he realizes he can't go through with it. He smokes a few times.
  • STEVE ZAHN plays another escaped convict/car thief -- this one a bit more dimwitted -- who similarly steals the RV and poses as someone else. He smokes several times and has sex with Ms. Schaefer.
  • M. C. GAINEY plays the other escape convict/murderer who returns to the town, shoots at several people and tries to rob the bank.
  • WILLIAM H. MACY plays the subdued town sheriff who develops a thing for Harry and takes him on a date.
  • ALLY WALKER plays the owner of the local bank who also falls for Harry.
  • ILLEANA DOUGLAS plays a schoolteacher who falls for Wayne, has sex with him and briefly uses strong profanity.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this PG-13 rated comedy. Violence is heavy due to several shooting scenes (where one man is wounded), while other fighting is also present. Profanity is also rated as heavy due to at least 1 use of the "f" word, while other profanities and colorful phrases are also uttered.

    Some off-screen sex occurs (we briefly see a table moving rhythmically from the actions of a couple below it), as does some other activity and homosexual references played for jokes. Bad attitudes exist in the form of some escaped convicts, two of whom pose as other people for financial gain, and a third who threatens others.

    Beyond a moderate amount of smoking and some drinking, the film's other categories have little or nothing in the way of major objectionable content. As always, however, should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone in your home, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed content listings.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We see a photo of the original gay couple holding glasses of champagne.
  • Wayne has the little pageant girls sing the song, "Ninety-nine Bottles of Beer on the Wall."
  • Dent gets out beer for himself and Harry.
  • Joe has some wine.
  • People at a gay bar have drinks (including Dent and Harry who have beer).
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see a dead armadillo on the road and after Wayne hits Maslow with one, the burly convict has some armadillo blood/guts on him.
  • We briefly see Wayne sitting on a toilet, but don't see anything else.
  • Dent's shoulder and arm are bloody from where he was shot.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Harry and Wayne are escaped convicts who pose as a gay couple (after stealing their RV) while trying to hide from the law and then to rob Joe's bank.
  • Maslow is another escaped convict/murderer who returns to rob a bank and threatens/tries to kill various people.
  • A comment is made that a person "fights like a girl."
  • Some viewers may not like the film making fun of and/or portraying homosexuality in a humorous fashion.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Although we never see the impact, some animal-sensitive viewers may find scenes where Dent and Harry shoot at rabbits as unsettling (the same holds true where a person is hit with a dead armadillo).
  • Joe goes into her bank when we know that Maslow's already in there (but she doesn't) and some shooting and a vehicular chase follow.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Shotgun/Handguns/Rifles: Carried and/or used to threaten, shoot at, or wound people. See "Violence" for details.
  • Rifles: Used by Dent and Harry to shoot at rabbits, while others are seen in Maslow's trunk.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Big d*ck," "Goat boy," "You fight like a girl," "Crappy," "Screwed" (nonsexual), "Bite me," "Booger eaters," "Sissy," "Homo," "Screw you," "Piss," "Balls" (testicles), "Screw ‘em," "Holy hell," "Bastard" and "Screw up."
  • Harry and Wayne steal an RV and then pose as its owners, a gay couple.
  • We see that Wayne has previously had women's names tattooed on his body.
  • We briefly see one of the young girls at the pageant with a flaming baton (as part of her competition, but she uses it to hit a bad guy in the crotch).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A minor bit of suspenseful music plays during a few moments in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • Wayne has the little pageant girls sing the song, "Ninety-nine Bottles of Beer on the Wall," while a song on the soundtrack has the lyrics, "Cute butt…sexy eyes."
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word, 2 slang terms involving male genitals ("d*ck"), 6 damns, 4 hells, 3 craps, 2 asses (1 used with "hole"), and 4 uses of "Oh my God," 3 each of "G-damn" and "God," 2 each of "Jesus" and "Oh Jesus" and 1 use each of "Oh my Lord," "For Christ's sakes," "Oh Lordy," "Jesus Christ" and "Oh God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • An analogy is made to a "macrame diaphragm."
  • We see a picture of a bikini-clad woman in a magazine and hear a comment that she has legs "that wrap around you twice."
  • Harry and Wayne pose as a gay couple (whom we see kissing in a photograph). As such, Ms. Schaefer tells Wayne that he doesn't need to worry about the local pageant girls because "they're fine with you being a homosexual." Later, Harry (acting his part) tells Dent that if he (Dent) were gay, he'd be Harry's type. Eventually, however, Harry goes on a date with Dent to a gay bar and Wayne then jokingly asks Harry "did you get any?" Later we see two men holding each other's pinkies.
  • Harry has Wayne think about beaches populated with foreign women "with large breasts."
  • We see Wayne and Ms. Schaefer taking off some of their clothes while doing some passionate kissing. It's then implied that they have sex as we see a chess board rhythmically bouncing on a table from their activity below it. She later tells him that she hasn't had a lot of experience, but "You're incredible -- considering that you are a homosexual." After she sees that he has women's names tattooed on different parts of his body, she then runs her hand down inside his underwear and asks, "What's this?" He replies that it's not a tattoo.
  • Ms. Schaefer shows some cleavage and we then see her and Wayne making out backstage at the pageant.
  • SMOKING
  • Both Harry and Wayne smoke around five times each (with the latter offering a cigarette to one of his young pageant contestants who declines the offer), while Ms. Schaefer smokes once and the lawman after the escaped cons has a cigar in one scene.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Joe briefly mentions her father dying sometime in the past.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The criminal/deceptive exploits of the main characters and all of that being used as humor.
  • Homosexuality.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Wayne hits Maslow with a dead armadillo and the two then scuffle until a prison guard fires off a warning shot with his shotgun.
  • Later, those two go at each other in the back of a prison van, causing the driver to lose control and crash (the van ends up on its side). Maslow briefly aims a gun at Harry and Wayne, but then escapes.
  • Wayne, upset about being stuck with the little girls and not knowing what to do with them, grabs Harry and pushes him back against a wall.
  • A little girl attacks and punches a little boy. Wayne then mockingly threatens the boy (for having a bad attitude toward the girl) by saying that he'll kill him in the middle of the night with a chainsaw.
  • Wayne punches Harry in the face for the way he was talking to him.
  • Dent and Harry shoot at rabbits (we never see the impact or near misses).
  • A gun battle breaks out where Maslow, Dent, the lawman and his men all fire at one another.
  • Dent and Maslow exchange shots with Dent being wounded in the shoulder/arm. Maslow then breaks through a window dragging Joe with him.
  • As Harry and Wayne chase after Maslow, the latter shoots back at them.
  • Harry hits Maslow who punches him back several times.
  • Joe slaps Harry.
  • A young girl hits Maslow in the crotch with a flaming baton and then punches him before police tackle him to the ground. Wayne then head butts Maslow.



  • Reviewed September 17, 1999 / Posted October 8, 1999

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