Welcome to the Dollyhouse: trailer and release date for Seriously Red

Dolly Parton is an inspiration to us all: one of the greatest living singer-songwriters, an entrepreneur with her own Tennessee theme park, and a courageous third-wave feminist (even if she herself doesn’t align with the term).

Who wouldn’t want to try her big boobs and jacked-up blonde hair on for size? Especially if, like the protagonist of Gracie Otto and Krew Boylan’s new comedy, you’re feeling a bit downtrodden in your humdrum daily life? Seriously Red stumbles out of bed and fumbles into Australian cinemas this November 24, a tale of impersonation giving way to self-actualisation.

Boylan writes, sings, and stars in the film, a goofy dramedy about a tomboyish office outcast who finds a new lease on life after embarrassingly showing up as Dolly to a formal work do. Adopting that perky Southern twang (“she’s bright, she’s bubbly, nipples to the skah”), she takes to the stage as a professional impersonator, soon getting swept up in a bizarre community of fellow wannabes.

These include Bobby Cannavale as the Neil Diamond lookalike who gives Red her first chances at performing, a Kenny Rogers impersonator (Daniel Webber) who steals her heart, and producer Rose Byrne as a drag king Elvis. Let’s just say that in the trailer below, her “thank you very much” is not quite as convincing as Austin Butler’s recent take.

Reviewing Seriously Red after its world premiere at the Sydney Film Festival, Stephen A Russell was a bit let down by the film, whilst still acknowledging its fresh perspective. “Fair play, it’s Boylan’s first screenplay and Otto’s first dramatic feature”, he wrote, “but this one needed a nine-to-five rewrite to make it truly sing.”

Aussie viewers and Dolly fans will need to wait a bit longer to form their own opinion of Seriously Red, which nevertheless looks like an all-singing, all-catchphrase-spouting blast in the zingy trailer above. And they got  the rights to use Dolly’s fabulous discography!

Jean Kittson also appears as Red’s disapproving mother, whose passive-aggression is enough to drive Red crazy if she lets it. Hey, that could be a good lyric in a pop-country hit or something…