I remember picking up the movie "Holiday Heart" in a Blockbuster one day. Ving Rhames and Alfre Woodard play the lead roles. A black, gay drag queen and a single mom with a drug addiction. The movie is based on a play by Cheryl L. West. I wasn't so sure I'd like it, but I rented it anyway. I always liked Alfre Woodard, but was used to seeing Ving Rhames in a car chasing, gun going off type of movie.
I was happily surprised. Each character had depth and personality. Cheryl L. West was able to paint a realistic and compassionate picture of the 3 main characters' lives as they became more involved with each other. She did not hide the ugliness that each had to face, nor did she forget that each character had dreams and something beautiful in him or herself as well.
The casting was well done. This was Jesika Reyolds' introductory role and she played it wonderfully. Alfre crossed between sobriety and addiction successfully. She portrayed the struggle remarkably, and believably kept Wanda's spirit, personality, and fire in each and every scene.
Many male actors have put on dresses over the years when tackling roles. It's not always successful, but not uncommon. Ving Rhames found a new fan in me when I saw his performance. Even in an interview, the big, macho personality of his comes through. Put a dress on him, a little lipstick, a perfect manicure, switch him back to conservative church attire, it did not matter. He was Holiday, body and soul. I never once heard that imaginary gun go off or had a car crash scene in my head from his other movies while I was watching him played Holiday.
A definitely must see, especially if you're a Alfre Woodard and Ving Rhames fan.