Somewhere between John Waters and Hee Haw lies the inane and irritating world of Del Shores. More than a decade has passed since his Daddy’s Dyin’ . . . Who’s Got the Will?, and now he’s resurrected the funeral farce form in this stinker, which is also set in a small Texas town inhabited by witless eccentrics.
It seems family matriarch Peggy Ingraham has died after tripping over the wooden legs of G.W. (Beau Bridges) and cracking her head in the motel room where the two were having an adulterous tryst. This sends shock waves through the family and the community, from G.W.’s outraged wife, Noleta (Delta Burke), who invokes Thelma and Louise as role models, to Peggy’s son Brother Boy (Leslie Jordan), who’s spent the past 30 years in a mental institution for dressing up as Tammy Wynette. Whether you laugh will depend on how funny you find elderly women in beehive haircuts wiping their armpits. In any case, the failed grotesquerie and whimsy are less disturbing than the smarmy mawkishness. With its crescendo of hugs and tearful reconciliations, many shot from the point of view of the dead woman in her casket, Sordid Lives confuses the sordid with the sentimental. (111 minutes)