Movie Review:
To Wong Foo (1995)

To Wong Foo (1995)

TITLE: To Wong Foo

RELEASE DATE: Sept 8, 1995




Three drag queens, (Vida Boheme, Noxeema Jackson, and Chi-Chi Rodriguez), embark on a road trip across the United States in an old Cadillac. Their journey takes a turn when their car breaks down in a small town, stranding them far from their intended destination.

As the trio interacts with the townspeople, their flamboyant presence shakes up the conservative community.


I’m going to keep this short here because we did a full episode on the social commentary in this film that you can listen to by clicking HERE.

Themes discussed in this movie include acceptance, both self-acceptance and accepting others, the power of embracing one’s identity and defying social norms. It looks at the realities of the world of small towns and how sometimes you need to leave to really find yourself. And it looks at the fear of encountering things and ideas we are not used to.


I liked this movie a lot. It was pretty representative of living in Nebraska, where I grew up. I know the area where this was filmed very well. I learned to drive on some of the roads they showed. I’ve been to most of the locations in this film (at least the Nebraska ones) so I had a lot of “Oh look!” moments.

I like the plot for the most part. I think some things could’ve hit harder. We’ll get there in a moment.

Overall, I love the jokes. I think it’s a smart comedy even though it’s a product of its time and lacked proper representation to really get the story right. I think they did an amazing job with the story they had.


I was exceptionally annoyed at the fact that they are ALWAYS in drag. There’s literally no reason for it. Anyone who has ever met a drag performer knows this is unrealistic at best and stupidly dangerous in the situation they are in. There’s no reason they would drive across country in full drag, and while I understand it would be a weird movie without that, they consistently talk about how dangerous it is to do so, which just makes me double down on hating that they do it. If one character, like Chi Chi had done it and they used it as an arc, maybe. But as is? No. Especially when they’re going to sleep.

But they could’ve avoided almost all of this if they’d just kept their drag stuff in their suitcases and been honest with people.

This film seems like the writers didn’t understand that being a drag performer is not the same as being trans… even though they have a whole monologue from Noxeema detailing the differences.

I hate that people are confused and think they’re actually women. I can’t decide if they’re trying to say the drag queens were misleading everyone, everyone is that stupid, or what, but I hate it. As Anton said in our episode on this movie, it would’ve been much better and funnier if the women in town all instantly knew but the men couldn’t figure it out. That’s at least fun comedy.

I detested that the guy in love with Chi Chi ends up with a girl who is portrayed as being way underage in the film. I know the actress was not, but the writing made her seem incredibly “innocent” and young. It came off really creepy.

Finally, the part I’m most annoyed with is that Vida tells us how she wants to go to her family and claim her name and identity as Vida Boheme… but we don’t see it. What a powerful scene that would’ve been to put on the screen.


“When a lady says no, she means ‘Get your hand off my dick!’”

“Why is that little Latin boy in drag crying?”

“We were so poor my parents married for the rice!”

“Vida works out. Vida works out… A LOT.”


This movie was filmed about 30 minutes from where I grew up. I remember everyone talking about it when it was happening and most of my memories of this time are of acceptance and happiness I often wondered if it was because they weren’t dealing with actual drag queens, but with stars – Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes, John Leguizamo… and then I found out while recording an episode of TheNecronomi.Com that in fact the locals were assholes and caused a lot of problems and made things super uncomfortable for the cast and crew and now I’m hurt and sad that it wasn’t the way I remember it… but I guess that’s a big part of growing up in America.

As Anton Cancre said in this episode, a lot of this movie didn’t age the way we would like and that comes down to not having proper representation in the storytelling. Having non-drag queens try to tell the story of drag queens is going to lead to inaccuracies and things that are just plain stupid (see what I didn’t like above). I still like that they tried. I still think we were more progressive then than we are now and we were working harder toward finding a middle ground than America is today.