It’s years since I saw the film The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, starring Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds and based on the play by the same name. Actually, I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen it from start ’til finish, but I’m fairly sure I’d seen the bulk of it. The result, I believe, of some nightly channel swapping with me and my brother.
I recently got it on DVD (thanks, Hansel!) and watched it again – and together with my brother this time as well.
My verdict? It’s a pretty fun little film with some great musical acts, and I’m surprised it’s currently only scored a 5.3 over at IMDb. The film did feel a bit dated, with its early 80s middle-American sensibilities, but more in a quaint rather than a bad way. The moral of it I’m a bit uncertain about – are there really many bordellos as clean, fun and filled with song as this one, and should pleasure houses be made legal? But the sheriff, Burt Reynolds’s character, did make a point which I myself feel inclined to agree with (though further resoning and argument is needed to see if it really holds up): that you can’t legislate morality, and whether or not you want to live in “indecency” is a personal choice.
One of the most memorable songs from the film is definitely “The Sidestep”, performed by Charles Durning: a politician declaring his love of sidestepping tough questions from journalists, never giving a clear answer. It’s not the best or prettiest song, but probably the song you’ll most want to share with friends who haven’t seen the film or play.
I’ve also learned that The Venture Bros. had a joke about this film, believing it to be a porno (which is a natural assumption if you just see the film’s title on its own), and even released a rendition of one of the songs from the film featuring some of the cast from the series. That’s pretty neat; the creators definitely score some major cred with that in my book. I’ll check it out once I’ve gotten my hands on and made my way through the relevant season.