A typical love story? by valarmorghulis

Boy Meets Girl (2014)

Cast: Michael Welch, Michelle Hendley, Alexandra Turshen, and Michael Galante

Director: Eric Schaeffer

Synopsis: Michelle Hendley stars as the stunning transgender girl, Ricky an aspiring fashion designer, along side her childhood best friend Robby (Michael Welch). When a new girl Francesca (Alexandra Turshen) comes into their lives as she waits for her Marine fiancé (Michael Galante) to come back from war. When Francesca becomes more than a friend for Ricky, Robby is forced to examine the feelings he has for Ricky that he has kept buried for all these years (Reelout).

Review:

Eric Schaeffer brings a new twist to the classic, cheesy romance film we are so accustomed to seeing with Boy Meets Girl. The film brings the classic story into a new light with gender and sexualities being portrayed in ways you do not normally see on the big screen.

Schaeffer brought in an interesting element with the video backstory of Ricky’s transition and history with her mother. Schaeffer starts the story out with very little information, only that Ricky’s mother is not in the picture. The story unfolds and you find out that Ricky’s mother was not okay with her daughter being a MTF (male to female) transgender women. Ricky mentions in the video that it was difficult not having someone so close to her be accepting of who she are. The final video clip ends with the classic “it gets better” mantra. Although this is a very cliché and overused statement, it is also uplifting to others in her situation. The use of the unaccepting mother in this story also brings an interesting element to the movie. It shows that some people may not always accept a person who is not the typical cisgender person. However they also portray a strong base for Ricky in her father, brother, and Robby. The film does a good job of showing both the extremely accepting and unaccepting views when it comes to telling people difficult truths.

Although this movie pushes many of the boundaries with gender and sex, there is no movement on the front of race. The entire cast is white, with no representation of people of colour. This enforces the idea that only white people can push boundaries with what can be shown on the big screen.

Another main storyline is the homophobia and transphobia from the Francesca’s marine fiancée, David. David is very opposed to Francesca being friends with Ricky, often misgendering her and calling her a “tranny” in a derogatory manner. David becomes very aggressive with Francesca when he finds out she slept with Ricky, and even goes as far as attempting to beat up Ricky. David portrays hegemonic masculinity as he attempts to assert his male dominance over both Francesca and Ricky, not willing to show any weakness. The story unfolds and the audience finds out that the reason for David’s behavior is the fact that he had sex with Ricky in high school. The idea of compulsory heterosexuality is at play in these scenes, as David does not want to be seen as homosexual, as he worries about what the people in the marine’s with think of him. He wants to maintain the perceptions that everyone already has of him.

One of the most pivotal scenes is the sex scene between Francesca and Ricky. One of the reason’s this scene is so important is the practice of informed consent. As the kissing becomes more intense and the two girls end up on Ricky’s bed, Ricky stops the moment to make sure this is what Francesca wants. The two discuss previous experiences, birth control, and what to expect since Ricky is in transition and taking estrogen. Even though in the beginning of the scene Francesca did not want to discuss anything, Ricky forces the conversation to make sure that both of them are fully comfortable with the situation. Ricky asks the question several times to make sure that Francesca is definitely okay with what is happening. This scene passes on an extremely important message of making sure both partner’s are okay with what is happening, and being willing to stop if at any point a person is no longer comfortable.

I thoroughly enjoyed getting to be a part of this film festival in attending this movie. It was interesting to get to see the classic rom-com trope be remade into something that expresses the romance with all people, not just the stereotypical heterosexual male and female couple. The atmosphere of the festival made you feel right at home, with people snapping at the amazing moments, or gasping along with you at the astounding plot twists. Although the film does not address any issues of race or features any people of colour, it is an accessible film for people who enjoy a good romantic comedy.

By: valarmorghulis

Reelout,. N.p., 2015. Web. 4 Feb. 2015.

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3 thoughts on “A typical love story? by valarmorghulis

  1. I really enjoyed the way that you not only explained and described the important elements of this movie, but also pointed out the criticisms. I think that the theme this movie addressed is evident in so many peoples lives, yet is largely misrepresented in media and you did a great job of explaining just how important this movie was for a number of reasons, like the scene on consent. I believe that many people are uneducated on individuals that are transgender and don’t understand how hurtful their words and actions can be and this movie seems to have been very educational on showing the idea of a love story from a non-cisgender perspective.

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  2. I really enjoyed reading this description of the film. For me, the concept of hegemonic masculinity stuck out. David’s desire to live up to the “ideal masculine male” stereotype commonly held by society, drove him to police the actions of the people around him and deny a homosexual experience he had. People of the LGBTQ community are often policed and become victims of violence because their sexual preference or expression is seen as not living up to an “ideal male” or “ideal female”. This made me think about the fact that very few people actually live up to the “ideal male” or “ideal female” commonly head by society. If we do not live up to this ideal, why is it that we police others?

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  3. Having also seen this movie, I really enjoyed reading the different approach of analysis and the different elements you emphasized in your review. Like how you brought out the subtleties of the presence of Ricky’s mother in the film. It is sad, yet very real, to think of parents not being accepting and loving of their children unconditionally; even more so under circumstances of sexuality and gender. I think you did a really good job of making that deeper connection to the movie and the course material especially when you discuss the importance of informed consent and show how the movie did such a great job of showing it. I think this, along with your review was very informative of transgender and cis-gender relations, and did so in a enjoyable rom-com setting.

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