As progressive as Boy Meets Girl might be for featuring a romance between a transsexual in the midst of making the transition from male to female and a young sexually ambivalent woman, it’s pretty much a bust in terms of pure filmmaking. I have to say, the Southern accents of the characters really threw me off. They were awful. However, the most dire thing about this movie is the way it presents it’s message with the force of a blunt sledgehammer. It’s a worthy message, one of inclusion and tolerance, but there’s a marked lack of subtlety in the way it’s delivered.
The film (a kind of ‘transsexual love triangle romantic comedy’ for the supposedly young and hip) involves Ricky (Michelle Hendley,) a young transgendered woman living in rural Kentucky who dreams of being a successful fashion designer. Ricky still has guy parts, and finds herself disenchanted with her romantic endeavors with men. Her lifelong friend and confidante is Robbie (Michael Welch,) a guy’s guy and womanizer with whom she owns a small coffee shop. When Ricky meets the Christian, wealthy, and very engaged Southern Belle Francesca (Alexandra Turshen,) the two buck expectations by becoming feverishly attracted to each other. But Francesca’s uber-masculine and homophobic marine fiance David (Michael Galante) looms over their chance at happiness.
Michelle Hendley is an actress who deserves a better movie. She’s fairly natural and actually pretty enchanting as Ricky. She’s really transgendered, so maybe that helps her relate to Ricky’s experience (although of course every trans person’s experience is different.) However, I can’t say the same for the other actors. Turshen is just so fake as Francesca, smiling madly and forcing her way through the entire film. As Robbie, Welch’s accent is dreadful, and although he steps up his game acting-wise about halfway through the movie, his very presence leaves a certifiable bad taste in one’s mouth.
Another problem is the matter of the fiance. David is made into the biggest a-hole possible for most of the movie; just an over-the-top racist, homophobe, and judgmental prick to justify Ricky and Francesca sleeping with each other. Nothing that comes out of David’s mouth seems genuine, it just seems so artificial. Granted, there are bullies and generally awful people in this world, but shouldn’t they be portrayed in movies as people played by capable actors and not one-dimensional cartoons? Of course, after Ricky and Francesca break it off David has a big-time road to Damascus, in other words, exactly when the plot requires him to.
The characters in Boy Meets Girl are caricature-like and shallow. Francesca’s the daughter of a rich politician (Christopher McHale,) and the moment we meet him he’s bitching about Obama to his wealthy Republican friends, just to show us how conservative he is and how out of her element Ricky is. As if fiscal beliefs and values about gender identity and sexual preference have jack shit to do about each other. This movie is just too one-dimensional and too strident in it’s attempts to be cute. Nothing comes off as being real or genuine. The characters sound like extensions of an inexperienced script writer trying to send a message. And the revelation about Galante’s character halfway through the film? Just… don’t. Did they pick this one out of Gay Movie Cliches 101? That’s just lazy script-writing. Boy Meets Girl has a decent idea, but in the end, it’s just another God darn failed opportunity of a concept that could have been great