“Hotshots” looks at a movie!

The Identical - Movie PosterTHE IDENTICAL is not a very good movie about what might have happened if Elvis Presley’s twin brother had not died at birth, but had been given away to another couple who couldn’t have children.

The other couple are evangelist preacher Reece Wade, played by Ray Liotta, and his wife, Louise, played by Ashley Judd.

So, the movie follows their lives and the life of their adopted son, whom they name Ryan Wade, rather than the life of the more successful twin brother, who becomes a very successful singer named Drexel “The Dream” Hemsley.

The story begins in 1935, the same year in which Elvis was born, in Decatur, Alabama, where Helen Hemsley gives birth to twin boys and says to her husband, “William, Honey, meet your sons.”

But times are hard, it is the middle of the Great Depression, and William doesn’t have a job, but he had recently attended a revival meeting where Reverend Wade had revealed that he and his wife had not been able to have children.

So, believing that they could raise one child but not two, and taking the expression “It is better to give than to receive” to heart, the Hemsleys give one of the twin boys to Reverend Wade and his wife to raise, making them promise to keep the secret, and then pretending to bury that son and telling people that he had died at birth.

Well, naturally, Reverend Wade wants Ryan to have a calling and to follow him into preaching for a life, but Ryan has other interests, such as music, and he seems to have a talent for that, even taking his guitar with him when he spends two years in the Army and singing for his buddies in his job in the motor pool.

Ryan eventually convinces his father that he doesn’t have the calling to be a preacher and moves out on his own, dating a girl named Jenny, whom he had met when they were younger, and finally marrying her.

Meanwhile, Drexel has become a huge success, people remark how much Ryan looks like Drexel, and when Ryan wins a Drexel impersonating contest, his own singing career takes off, being billed as “The Identical,” as in the identical copy of Drexel “The Dream” Hemsley.

THE IDENTICAL is a very cheap copy of Elvis.

I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”