As you all know, Once Upon a Bookcase is a book blog. I only review movies when their book-to-movie adaptations. Boy Meets Girl, brought to my attention by Jim of YA Yeah Yeah, is not an adaptation, but a hugely important LGBTQ coming-of-age film, there's no way I could not review it. You all need to see this movie!
Ricky, an out, pre-op transgender woman, hasn't been so lucky in love. Living in a small town in Kentucky, there are only so many available men, and so decides to see if she could date a woman, with the encouragement of longtime best friend, Robby. When Ricky meets Francesca at the coffee shop she works in, there is an undeniable attraction between the two, despite Francesca being engaged to her Marine fiancé. But there also seems to be something bubbling under the surface between Ricky and Robby. But with experimentation and developing feelings, someone is going to get hurt.
Boy Meets Girl is very honest, and so fantastic with it's openness. It starts transgender actress Michelle Hendley in her debut role, and she nails it. Boy Meets Girl is not just a coming-of-age and love story about a transgender woman, but a story that answers so many questions the audience may have about what it means to be transgender, and also is hilariously funny!
Boy Meets Girl is extremely sex positive, with Ricky experimenting with her sexuality and her open conversations about sex with Ricky - some of the most hilarious moments of the movie. I laughed out loud when Ricky, having never slept with a girl before, was asking Robby, played by the wonderful Michael Welch, what it was like - on the off chance it happened. I don't think there's anyone who can watch that part of the movie and not laugh at Ricky's bold, out-of-the-blue questions, and Robby's squirming, as well as his descriptions. Later, a conversation about what is gay, lesbian or straight sex between the two was not only amusing, but also thought-provoking. Honestly, Welch and Hendley were fantastic together throughout the whole movie, their relationship completely believable. Welch, who is probably best known for his role a Mike in the Twilight movies, shows again just why I'm such a huge fan of him as an actor - this guy is just brilliant, and he held my focus whenever he was on screen. And no, that's not just because he is so very easy on the eye. (Though for those of you who agree with me, there is a really awesome swimming scene. Yup. But that's not important.)
Francesca, played by Alexandra Turshen, is also a really fantastic character. Recently new-ish to town, she doesn't know about Ricky being transgender. But when she is told, she is wonderful. She is initially curious, asking some questions that are completely ridiculous, but for someone who has very little knowledge and understanding, I guess quite normal - but she is completely accepting from the get-go. And speaking of, it's brilliant to see Ricky's confidence with talking about her being transgender and answering Francesca's questions without a problem.
Francesca becomes Ricky's most ardent defender when Ricky comes under fire. Ricky is on the receiving end of transphobic and homophobic slurs, though mostly behind her back. They're the disgusting, heinous, obvious terms coming from the ignorant and pathetic. And yet, there's even a learning curve there. But Francesca coming to Ricky's defence in such a big way, oh my god, she's amazing! Seeing her being someone who doesn't really understand to being someone who is fiercely standing by her friend, it's beautiful! There is a wonderful moment when, during their experimentation with each other, Francesca asks Ricky if this makes her gay, or bi-curious, insisting she must be something, to which Ricky replies, "Human?" I just loved that!
Boy Meets Girl really is an incredible movie. It's a sweet and gorgeous romance, it's a hilarious comedy, it's thought-provoking, inclusive and sex-positive, but it's ultimately a powerfully uplifting story about a transgender woman finding her way - and what a fantastic ending! Boy Meets Boy is a bold and brave movie, and it's incredible. As I said at the beginning, you all need to see this movie!
Released: 6th February 2015
Boy Meets Girl Website
Director/Writer: Eric Schaeffer
Starring: Michelle Hendley, Michael Welch, and Alexandra Turshen