Bam Bam & Celeste

Lorene Machado

Margaret Cho

Margaret Cho – Celeste / Mommy
Bruce Daniels – Bam Bam
Alan Cumming – Eugene
Elaine Hendrix – Jackie
Jane Lynch – Darlene
John Cho – Stephan
Katy Selverstone – Alegra



Release Date:
USA: 2005

USA: Not rated
IMDb: 5.6/10
Netflix: 2.9/5

Bam Bam & Celeste is a silly little road comedy vehicle for potty mouthed comedian Margaret Cho. Now, I like Margaret Cho, so I wanted to like BB&C, but most of it didn’t really work for me. I couldn’t help but be reminded of Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion and our previous Random Movie Superstar – especially since those movies share not only plot similarities, but even actors with this one – and unfortunately they are much better movies.

Back in 1987, Celeste (Margaret Cho) and her BFF named Bam Bam (I don’t know why) played by Bruce Daniels are in high school in DeKalb, Illinois. They are social outcasts because Celeste is both Korean American and Goth, and Bam Bam is African American and flamboyantly gay. Seemingly everybody in school hates them, but their chief tormentors are a trio of “beautiful” kids led by Jackie (Elaine Hendrix). Cut to 2005 and not much has changed, Bam Bam and Celeste are still BFFs, and Jackie and her crew have a successful beauty salon in New York. They are also judges on a makeover show called Trading Faces. Inexplicably, our not so dynamic duo decide to hop in Bam Bam’s hot pink car and drive to New York to appear on the show…that the evil Jackie is a judge on. Good plan.

Here are my problems with this movie: First of all, for a movie written by and starring a Korean American who is a big supporter of LGBT causes, the movie is so full of stereotypes that I don’t know where to start. OK, Bam Bam is gay…and a hairdresser. Really? A gay hairdresser? Also, everybody they meet on their travels with very few exceptions are mullet wearing redneck neo-Nazis.

Speaking of Nazis, Celeste has a thing about dictators. She logs on to a website called Dictators Suck Ass which looks like a chat room for people who hate dictators. Or like them. It’s hard to tell because she has pictures of Stalin and Hitler up on her wall. Weird.

Then there’s the fact that neither of our leads are very good actors. The screen comes alive when real actors like Jane Lynch and Alan Cumming show up, but they are kind of the exception to the rule.

I will say that Margaret Cho is very funny when she plays her Mom. She appears pretty seamlessly in the dual role as Celeste and Mommy, a version of her own Mom that she’s been doing on stage for years.

Also, I have to give big props to Elaine Hendrix. She plays a mean, “rhymes-with” so well. She played that part in Romy and Michele and Superstar as well, so this is her second appearance here on the old Random Movie Reviews. She is very funny here too. She’s so good at playing these beautiful on the outside/septic tank on the inside types but, remember, she’s an actress. She played a very nice person in What the #$*! Do We (K)now!? A crazy ass movie that I really really like.

The Misplaced Boy MST3K Scale:

So, good stuff by Elaine Hendrix and others saves the movie I guess. I’m giving it a…


Random Quote Whore Quote:

Bam Bam & Celeste is a unipersonal, brahminical, place of a movie! Margaret Cho is superior!!!


4 thoughts on “Random Movie Review – Bam Bam & Celeste

  1. You nailed this one. I saw the movie years ago and try as I might, I just couldn’t get myself to “like” it. It’s a shame Cho does a great stand up act. It just didn’t translate to the silver screen.

    I’ve missed you. Working, although a necessary evil, is a mind dumbing (no that is not a typo) proposition. We must talk soon.

    • I’ve missed you too, O Demure One. Definitely need to catch up soon.
      Wow! You saw this movie. I wouldn’t have even known it existed if not for the random suggestion. Yeah, Ms. Cho has better stuff in her.

  2. Ok, my one (of many) Guilty Pleasures, is Vally Girl personas (watching them, playing them, yeah… usually done when hanging out with my gay best friend;)

    So I’m compelled to check this out, but of course, with realistic expectations.


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