All the Queen’s Men


Loosely based on actual events, this mildly entertaining WWII flick concerns a team of Allied soldiers who don drag in order to infiltrate a Nazi factory that only employs women. Led by fearless special agent Steven O’Rourke (Matt LeBlanc), the so-called “Poof Patrol” includes a bookish codebreaker (David Birkin), a persnickety clerk (James Cosmo), and a gender-bending “chanteuse” (Eddie Izzard). The usual “straight men in heels” pratfalls garner a few intermittent chuckles, but they’re offset by several humdrum action sequences. Worse, LeBlanc can’t shake his _Friends_  persona, lending the proceedings a decidedly sitcom-ish feel. Fortunately, director Stefan Ruzowitzky keeps things moving at a brisk pace, effectively masking the film’s various shortcomings.

Grade:  B-

Kinsey Scale:  4 (Real life gender-illusionist Izzard, whose character here describes himself as a “bisexual lesbian in a man’s body,” appeared in Todd Haynes’ Velvet Goldmine. A subplot involves a gay relationship between two soldiers, and tolerance is a recurring theme. However, because they wear dresses for most of the film, the men – particularly LeBlanc’s character – get numerous heavy-handed opportunities to demonstrate their unwavering heterosexuality.)

(Appeared in Gay City News)