Hollywood to Dollywood (Breaking Glass Pictures, NR)

dvd hollywood-dollywoodDolly Parton liked the film enough to give the twins permission to use many of her songs.


Identical twins Gary and Larry Lane have a dream: to get their screenplay into the hands of their idol, Dolly Parton. When the usual means of communication produce no results, they decide to set off on a dual hero’s quest, renting an RV (named Jolene, of course) and driving from Dolly’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to Pigeon Forge, Tenn., to present it to her personally during the 25th anniversary celebration for Dollywood.

It’s partly a symbolic journey, of course, and the film is more interested in exploring the brothers’ Southern Baptist upbringing in North Carolina, and their efforts to get their families to accept them—or at least see them for who they are—than it is concerned with the quality of their screenplay. Now 35, they came out to each other at age 16, acting as a mutual support system, a necessity in a family where their mother once asked Gary, then age 25, to put his hand on the family Bible and swear he was not gay.

There’s nothing fancy about the cinematography in Hollywood to Dollywood—think lots of handheld video—but the brothers are naturals in front of the camera, making watching this film an enjoyable experience. They come off as charming, personable, and forthright, the kind of people you’d like to have a beer with—or, for that matter, go on a road trip with—and they seem to make friends and find Dolly fans wherever they go. They also recruit a variety of celebrity friends to appear on camera, including actors Leslie Jordan (who likens Dolly to “a big old drag queen”) and Beth Grant, both stars of Del Shores’ Sordid Lives, as well as Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black.

A good soundtrack is the secret to a successful road trip, and, appropriately enough, this one features the music of Dolly Parton, who liked Hollywood to Dollywood enough to give the twins permission to use many of her songs. The film also features clips of several live appearances by Parton, and you get a little tour of Dollywood, too.

Hollywood to Dollywood has played at about 60 film festivals, winning Best Documentary awards at 25 of them. Extras on the DVD include additional scenes, extended interviews, a photo gallery, and the film’s trailer. | Sarah Boslaugh

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