Warning: There is nudity in the film.
This is another movie that one of my friends have recommended I watch to review for my blog. I had a set order that I was going to watch all of the shows and documentaries in, but since I haven’t reviewed a movie in a while, I decided to go ahead and watch this film.
The title, Boy Meets Girl, makes it seem like the movie would be about your typical boy meeting your typical girl on a “chance” encounter and though outside forces try keeping them apart, love conquers all, and the two of them end up together and live happily every after. This movie is not quite that type of story. The main character of the film is Ricky (Michelle Hendley), a small town transgender young woman (I believe she is in her early 20’s) that is trying to get into a New York school for design. While awaiting a letter that will tell her if she was accepted or not, she tries figuring out whether she wants to date a man or woman and a love story ensues. By the end of the film the viewer will find out whether she found love and if her hopes and dreams will become a reality for her.
Naturally, one of the main topics the movie focuses on is the fact she is a transgender woman trying to figure herself out. While coming out/discovery stories can be nice in LGBTQ films and literature, it was refreshing that this movie did not focus only on that. Ricky discovered and knew her identity well before the start of the film, and this movie picked up where a lot of films kind of end off. In general, it seemed like the film broke out of the mold of many LGBTQ tropes and allowed for her transgender identity to be a part of her and not her whole identity. It’s nice films like this or shows like Orange is the New Black are having LGBTQ characters actually have dimension and not just have them as gimmick.
However, while it may have broken away from some stereotypes, the film ended up falling into your typical romantic comedy formula, just with LGBTQ twists to it. Too many movies get into the whole idea of being in love with someone and being too scared to admit those feelings but after things get too bottled up, they explode and then somehow everything gets resolved by the end of the film. For the most part, that is exactly what happened here. Fluid sexuality was more prevalent in this film, but it didn’t change much of the core love story ideas.
This then leads me into the writing and acting in the film. There were several moments in the film that stand out as having good messages to the audience. At one point Ricky and her best friends Robby (Michael Welch) discuss sexuality and what it means if she slept with someone, would it make that person straight, gay, or bisexual. He feels like there are defined lines to what people are, but she feels like people are just human and should love without labels. Despite some moments like this, the rest of the writing was just a little too cheesy and expected. The actors did an admirable job with the script, but several places were a little clunky and made the acting fall a little flat. That being said, I definitely think Michelle Hendley was the standout performer in the movie. Her “I don’t care what you think” type of attitude was refreshing and despite having that harder exterior to her, she also showed multiple vulnerable sides throughout the film and her nude scene, though unexpected and kind of out of nowhere, is definitely a good moment for transgender representation. People should not be ashamed by their body, regardless of gender identity.
Overall, I would give this film a seven out of ten. I was debating giving it both a higher and lower score. I think it is great for a transgender woman to be playing a transgender character and I liked the fact that while her identity was important, it was not necessarily the main focus of the film. Instead, the main focus was on a love story that has been seen quite a bit in the past (albeit with LGBTQ tones) and plot and conflict elements that were too easily discovered/resolved. My biggest issue would be, without providing any spoilers, is that if you ever want to hide something on a computer (or someplace else) do not label it with something important and have it be one of only two icons on the desktop. Just saying.