Flawless has a great premise: Robert De Niro is a tough-guy New York cop who loses his speech to a stroke. It turns out the only speech therapist he can see is the drag queen neighbor who he’s been trying to drive from the building.
Although Flawless sounds like a comedy, it actually plays like a drama. There is also a ridiculous fight scene involving evil drug dealers that feels like it’s part of an action movie. Unfortunately, this mixing of styles seemed to confuse the audience, who seemed to think that this comedy was too serious and not funny enough. The mood of the crowd was palpable.
The film’s finest saving grace is Philip Seymour Hoffman, who is outstanding as the drag queen. Hoffman has done well in supporting roles in Magnolia, Happiness, and Next Stop Wonderland. In Flawless, he still plays a supporting character, but he has proven himself ready for prime time. Let’s hope he gets some leading roles in the future.