Is “Female Trouble” the funniest movie ever made? I’d vote yes, but it’d probably be one of 10 or 20 I could swear was the all-time best and funniest. But that’s why the site is “Gush About” because while I am discerning and there is much I don’t like, there is so much that I do love to the point of needing to be restrained by order.
This 1974 film was John Waters’ fourth feature, his follow-up to “Pink Flamingos”, which may be more famous due to the dogshit-eating scene, but I feel “Female Trouble” is his “Gone With the Wind”, not because it’s an epic but because both have troubled, wobbly moral moorings. At least Waters’ film knew it. He dedicated the film to Charles “Tex” Watson, an incarcerated Manson family member. Apparently, Waters’ visits to Tex in prison inspired this film’s theme of “Crime Is Beauty”.
Divine embodies this theme as Dawn Davenport, from her glamorous beginnings demanding cha cha heels from her clueless parents to rampaging her way through the entire story living life on her own terms, a role model for us all. She’s my hero because she wants what she wants, she doesn’t give a flying f***, kills for art, and rocks a mohawk and scarred face as if she’s a supermodel. It’s Divine’s greatest role, I think, and this is equally true for Mink Stole and Edith Massey in this film, as well. Think Mink’s line “I wouldn’t suck your lousy dick if I was suffocating and there was oxygen in your balls!” And Edith Massey as The Egg Lady who wishes her nephew would turn nelly, saying “Queers are just better. I’d be so proud if you was a fag and had a nice beautician boyfriend” before throwing acid in Dawn’s face and ending up in a birdcage.
I could go on and on but you should just see it. Of course there’s a Criterion edition!