Blog 1: Boy Meets Girl- Film review

The film Boy meets girl directed by Eric Shaeffer is a romantic comedy film which premiered at the Kingston Reelout festival on February 4th, 2015. Boy meet girl is a story that revolves around the lives of Ricky, a transgender girl, and her best friend Robby who live in a small town in Kentucky. Robbie and Ricky have been friends since they were young kids and according to Ricky, Robbie has been there for her through all of her toughest times which makes Robby an incredibly important figure in Rickys life.  When a young and beautiful upperclass lady walks into the coffee shop where Ricky works, Ricky can’t help but be drawn to her which forces Robbie to confront his true feelings for Ricky. Only briefly into the movie the audience gains knowledge into what it was like for Ricky to grow up being the only transgender girl in her town. Although at her current age, Ricky is accepted by most people in her town for who she is, it unfortunately was not always like that because most individuals have very narrow binary ways of thinking. This film showed through the character of Francesca’s fiancé  that sometimes binary mindsets need to be challenged and questioned in order to be overcome.  The film served as a great entertainment due to the diverse cast and because the plot was relatable to many everyday experiences. Furthermore, the music was very accurate and was used as an excellent tool in order to set up the proper mood for the audience. For example, in the video Ricky filmed as a young girl admitting her battle with depression is shown on the screen, the background music is a sombre tone, which allows the audience to sympathize with Ricky. For a number of scenes it felt as though time was moving incredibly quick and important events were happening at a rapid pace instead of being focused on for a longer amount of time. This was especially true for Ricky and Francesca’s friendship that escalated into a romantic relationship in what seemed like merely a day.  What really added to the theme and message of the story was when Ricky was filmed naked in a scene with Robbie. This eliminated any mystery or confusion one may have had prior to the film, regarding transgender bodies and this emphasized that there is beauty in everyone. An important scene to note is when Ricky and Robbie get into an argument and Robbie gets caught up in his anger and in his rage admits that he thinks of Ricky as not being “a real anything”. This scene takes place towards the end of the movie when the audience has already developed a strong liking for the relationship between Ricky and Robbie therefore it is incredibly shocking when he says this. This scene is important overall because it reveals the true struggle of MTF and FTM individuals which is that they don’t have an “us” to figure out who they are with. This brings up an even bigger problem that exists in society, which is the “us versus them” model that is set up between heterosexual and queer individuals. Lastly, I think this scene exemplifies how far we have moved into the third wave of feminism seeing as this scene and movie as a whole shows the acceptance and normality of transgendered bodies. Lastly, I believe this scene exemplifies intersectionality, because Ricky is not only being discriminated against because of her gender and sexuality, she also experiences privilege because of her race.

Entering the festival was an experience for me seeing as Reelout was an opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and enter a community focused around queer ideas and debates. If felt very welcomed entering the festival and my original feelings of confusion and nervousness towards the film I was about to watch was changed to excitement. At first I thought that I would not connect and be able to relate to the film because I am not transgender, nor am I aware of anyone in my life who is. However, immediately into the film there were so many scenes I could relate to and so many traits I shared with the character Ricky. For me the best part of this film was that Michelle Hendley, a transgender girl in real life plays the character of Ricky instead of hollywood movies which usually cast cis-gender actors to play transgender characters. What I enjoyed most about the film is that it was practical and dealt with issues that are realistic and authentic to the trans experience.

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6 thoughts on “Blog 1: Boy Meets Girl- Film review

  1. Really great review, feminist12345! I particularly enjoyed that the fact that despite not identifying as transgender body, you were still able to relate to Ricky’s struggles. Did you find other some other aspects of Ricky and Robbie’s story that was a bit harder to relate to? It would not surprise me if your answer was no, as it seems like the director did a fantastic job of engaging the audience. The scene that you found paricularly important -in which Robbie “admits that he thinks of Ricky as not being “a real anything””- seems to be as heartbreaking as it is captivating; and immensely engaging for the audience. I’m glad you enjoyed Reelout, it is an awesome event!

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  2. Hi feminist 12345,
    Seeing Boy Meets Girl sounds like it was a really positive experience for you. It’s interesting to me the effect that having a transgender actor play a trans character had on the movie. Would you say that having Ricky played by a trans actress enhanced your experience of viewing this film, and made it seem more “real” and “authentic”?
    Your review made me think about trans actors and actresses, and caused me to contemplate how trans characters are sometimes played by cis people. For example, when Jared Leto (a cis male) portrayed a trans woman in Dallas Buyer’s Club it felt awkward and costumey, and I had a hard time enjoying the film because it made me wonder if a trans actress had been deprived of that role. It can be contrasted to Laverne Cox’s character in Orange is the New Black. She is a trans actress playing a trans woman, and it makes her character’s struggle much more realistic, believable, and likeable.
    Do you think this movie would have had the same effect on you if Ricky was played by a cis girl, or even a cis man?

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  3. Thank you for your review! It was a very nice read, although a bit hard to follow at times (I would suggest a little more proofreading, and dividing it up into more paragraphs). Nonetheless you communicated some really great thoughts, such as an important appreciation of a trans character being played by a cis actor. It got me thinking about the film industry, and about how cis actors are too often unfairly favoured over trans actors when it comes to both cisgender and transgender roles. And, just like spacebabe666, the examples of Jared Leto vs. Laverne Cox immediately came to mind. I definitely agree that Orange is the New Black, like Boy Meets Girl, did a great job casting a trans woman as a trans woman.
    I did get a bit confused, however, when you started talking about an opposing heterosexual/queer model in the context of gender identity. That should maybe get cleared up, as heterosexual people can be queer (for example, transgender). Moreover, be careful not to refer to transgender people as “transgendered”, as like mentioned in tutorial it implies that something has been done to them.
    Overall, though, great review. I would have loved for some expansion – in what ways was the cast diverse? You mentioned Ricky’s intersectionality; did her white privilege play any other noticeable part in the film’s plot? How do you think would it have been different if she were a trans woman of colour? You also made a great account of the sound and its emotional effect – what about the visuals (cinematography, mise en scène?)
    Good job, and I look forward to your future posts.

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  4. Bagler 902: Definitely! There were many struggles she faced that i definitely couldn’t relate to and i wasn’t going to try because if i did it would have been disrespectful to her. However there were the obvious girl issues that were relate-able and made the movie more enjoyable!
    Spacebabe666: Yes i did find that having Ricky played by a trans character enhanced the experience making it more authentic because she didn’t really need to “play her part” or “get into character” which is sometimes im sure hard for actors/actresses and can be awkward for the audience to watch if they can’t get comfortable with the character they are meant to be playing. I think that this movie would still be a good movie with respect to the plot and the main message had it been played by a cis character however i do not think the performance would have been as compelling.

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  5. Hey feminist12345! Your review was so well done that it made me reevaluate my own; I found that I struggled to find the best way to express what I was thinking while still being absolutely sure that I was using the correct terminology… I definitely wrote a few awkward sentences! But you are so comfortable with these terms that your style still shines through. Great job!

    The content of your review was pretty fascinating, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your experience, especially being able to relate to characters you never thought you could relate to. If there was a criticism I had, it would be that it may be easier to read if it was split into smaller paragraphs. Overall though, well done! Your review generated a lot of questions for me, but isn’t that the best kind of review?

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