Friday, November 30, 2007
Friday Flicks v.2
In an outstanding example of familial sharing, my bro-in-law left behind his copy of Kinky Boots when he visited the ATH last month. He thought I might just like it.

And I did! A great deal.

Kinky Boots:

Charles Price may have grown up with his father in the family shoe business, but he never thought that he would take his father's place. Yet, the untimely death of his father places him in that position, only to learn that Price & Sons Shoes is failing. While in despair at his failed attempts to save the business, Charles has a chance encounter with the flamboyant drag queen cabaret singer, Lola. Her complaints about the inadequate footwear for her work combined with one of Charles' ex-employees, Lauren, leads to a suggestion to change the product to create a desperate chance to save the business: make men's fetish footwear. Lola is convinced to be their footwear designer and the transition begins. Now this disparate lot must struggle at this unorthodox idea while dealing both the prejudice of the staff, Lola's discomfort in the small town and the selfish manipulation of Charles' greedy fiancée who cannot see the greater good in Charles' dream.

The book had a few hang ups--mainly revolving around the formulaic romantic relationship--Boy engaged to girl who sucks. But boy just happens upon girl who doesn't suck. Boy and cool girl fall in love.

However, the good far outweighed the bad....

Obviously there aren't a lot of roles for flamboyant drag queens. Normally drag queens are forced into certain roles--the bad ones. The are portrayed as sexually deviant. Or they are social outcasts. Or perhaps they live their lives alone and isolated--to further reinforce that you should experiment with gender less you want to end up alone and miserable. At the very least, the plot does not deal with the complicated gender trouble that drag presents. Many people will (inaccurately) refer to drag queens as "cross-dressers" or assume they "want to be women." So, so flawed and evidence that our society is uncomfortable with gender ambiguity and diversity. Society is perfectly okay with drag queens as long as we can fit them into categories such as man/woman. This movie was fascinating because Lola lived as a women, a man, and there were scenes in which she was a man in make-up and a woman without her wig. A really interesting gender study. That being sad, I was a little unhappy that at the end of the movie, Lola was uncoupled and the "third wheel" to his new heterosexual friends. I would have liked the movie to explore some romantic options for her. But baby steps...we'll take it!

The movie was MADE by Chiwetel Ejofor (the hot husband in Love Actually) as Lola. Ejofor was absolutely stunning. Mesmerizing.

You should check it out. Even if you don't hate binary gender and don't view the movie with a feminist lens, you will enjoy it. Very entertaining.

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