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DaveHoward Written by DaveHoward
May. 13, 2011 | 10:22 PM
Pick of the Week

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The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls

When I was asked to review THE TOPP TWINS, Karie queried, “It’s about of a pair yodeling lesbian twin sisters from New Zealand. How can you resist?”

I couldn’t.

THE TOPP TWINS is a joyous look at the life of two women considered to be a national treasure in Kiwi-land. It traces their humble roots on a dairy farm, roles in political activism and on-going success in television and touring.  At it’s core, it really isn’t about a successful career in the entertainment industry—it’s simply a beautiful story of the life of two twin siblings.  The directing is just necessary, the star is the story.

The first thing that gets you about this duo is their amazing harmonies and pretty damn close to perfect vocals. Described as “singers who are funny” the duo performs country-tinged hits and several sketch characters. While their comedy is a little schticky for me, there is no doubting the enthusiasm of the performers and their audiences.  While they do bring the funny, they are at their strongest when it is just two of them and a guitar, stripped of the Ab-Fab/ Tracy Ulman-esque characters.  In home video, energetic performances as teenaged street musicians are truly exciting. I couldn’t help but feel like I was on to something special, new and bold, even though that happened 25 years ago. In the performances that are more recent, the same energy exists - it is more mature but all of the fun is still there.

The twins played a role in apartheid and gay rights and this is the most poignant portion of the film. Left and right political activism has degenerated into something that is sour, angry and self-important, just like comedians. I’m not a good-ole-days hippie or anything, just most of the time the folks involved send a negative vibe, even when I agree with them.  During the 80’s apartheid era, they joined up not to promote themselves but with a farm girl “this is the right thing to do” attitude.  The two presented a fun, optimistic message in both of their causes. At one point a Topp remarks, something to the effect of, “People saw us and said ‘The gays seems to be having more fun.. let’s join them.”

This is the kind of energy that can move mountains and makes this one of one of the most entertaining flicks in recent memory. It’s THE movie you want to go see with your brother or sister.

Here’s the trailer:

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