This movie takes place in a small town, where Ricky (Michelle Hendley), a beautiful young transgender girl doesn’t believe there to be any boys left in town to fall in love with so Ricky takes into consideration changing her sexual orientation/preference. While Ricky, with the dream of becoming a fashion designer, waits for a letter to come from fashion school in New York, she meets a new girl named Francesca (Alexandra Turshen) who waits for the return of her Marine fiancé David (Michael Galante). The two girls become close friends that quickly turned into more than just friends. Watching Ricky become invested in Francesca, Robby (Michael Welch), Ricky’s close childhood friend is let thinking about his feelings for her. Upon the early return of David, drama arises amongst the four leaving relationships and the future left questionable.
Boy meets Girl as showcased in the 2014 Reelout Kingston Queer movie festival is the most recent work of writer and director Eric Scaeffer. What is so refreshing about the up and coming star Michelle Hendley is while she portrays a transgender girl in the movie; off screen she is a transgender women herself. This sweet, funny, romantic movie focuses on the themes of self-acceptance, and friendship, following your dreams while also focusing on the theme of transphobia and homophobia.
This film involves many of its characters taking a step back and reviewing some of the choices they’ve made. Ricky struggles with her search for love and how her future will pan out having not gotten into fashion school. Robby must act on his feelings for Ricky, ones that he’s always seemed to have, but never pursued. Francesca with having slept with Ricky while engaged to David, and David for how transphobic he is towards Ricky.
David is aggressively transphobic, voicing his opinion after learning about Francesca and Ricky’s new found friendship. He asserts hegemonic masculinity, showing dominance when he forbids Francesca of seeing Ricky, becomes aggressive with Francesca in public, and attempts to assault Ricky after finding out about the affaire. It is later revealed that it is all a cover. David didn’t hate Ricky; in fact he was very much infatuated with her, which lead to the two having sex in high school. Afraid of how he would look in the eyes of others, especially the Marines, David simulates this pure homophobic character.
One scene that really stood out for me was when Francesca is invited over to Ricky’s house and asks Ricky if she has a tampon. And while everyone in the room just stares at Francesca, she further pursues the matter continually asking, as if she were completely clueless as to why Ricky would not have any tampons. The way I take how naïve Francesca is of Ricky being transgender as a sign of how accepting she is of Ricky and how she doesn’t view her as anything other than an average girl. She never acts discomforted; she is merely kind hearted and a genuine friend. Of course being cisgender, Francesca had questions at some point, but she was always polite and understanding of Ricky’s response.
This just goes to show that while many may not be accepting of those who are transgender or even homosexual, there are always people that are. Thus relating back to Ricky’s mother, who is out of the picture, we slowly discover that she was not accepting of her son becoming a girl. While Ricky holds on to this burden with her mother, it was wonderful to see that Ricky had such a supportive father and brother who loved Ricky for everything she is.
It was interesting to see the different side of the typical romantic comedy from what I’m used to seeing in the theatre. While following the lines of a romantic comedy, this movie had more meaning then just a happily ever after. Even as society has evolved and is more accepting of the LGBTQ community then many years ago, it still doesn’t come through in the media, Hollywood movies in particular, as maybe it should. I think this is a great movie that could be easily transitioned into larger community M. It was not too intense, and plot wise pretty much follows typical romantic movies, with slightest change that it’s main character is transgender. This could open up the LGBTQ films to be shown to the general public and not just one viewing in the Reelout festival.
As far as my experience goes, it was a very cold walk from the Queens campus to the screening room downtown. There was such a great turn out for the movie I was glad to have gotten my ticket in advance from the SHRC on campus; there was a long line of people just hoping to get in, with so few seats left to be bought. Given how popular the festival, if not this movie in particular turned out to be, I believe the movie could have benefitted in being shown in a larger setting. Overall, I very much enjoyed the movie and had a great first experience with the LGBTQ community.