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|Index||39 reviews in total|
16 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Excellent., 6 February 2006
Author: Dana W from United States
I am a male to female transsexual, and all I can say is this is the
first and ONLY film I have seen handle this subject matter with taste
It sat on my shelf for two years before I watched it. I have seen this theme abused and twisted too many times, and I had assumed the worst. I'm very happy to say I got a very pleasant surprise.
Steven Makintosh did a wonderful job of playing Kim, and the fact that Kim's body is not "perfect" is a touch of reality seldom shown when movies or television fictionalize transition.
It was an honest approach, as opposed to the the usual "and far less realistic" sexy female actress that a Hollywood would have insisted on using.
Kim does not live as a "transgendered person" as is implied in some reviews but as a normal white collar woman in London, her old school friend comes into her structured and very low profile life and turns it upside down from emotional outbursts in restaurants, to a confrontation with the police.
His growing acceptance of Kim as a woman, and their growing relationship are wonderful to behold.
I don't want to give anything away, but from yet another person who's "been there" the film went between having me on the edge of my seat to having me in tears.
I cannot rate this film too highly.
"For people who NEED a nitpick, I think seeing Pauls girl friends reaction to goings on would have been good, she sort of just drops out of the plot and you never really know why"
17 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
Strong acting helps raise the bar, 7 January 2003
Simple (if that's the right word) British tale of a hot headed rebel who
meets up with an old school chum who's now a transsexual.
The script as filmed is almost (but not quite) as cloying as a Meg Ryan-Tom Hanks vehicle: it never really panders to the love story and it sacks trite 'witticisms' for honest language but it has just as faux-romantic of an ending as You've Got Mail or some other bit of schmaltz. However, the riveting performances by its leads help lift this film high above any mainstream pandering mush.
Rupert Graves has a high-voltage sexuality and never slips in his characterization of Paul; it's so common for actors to give some kind of Kabuki-like performance when playing volatility but he's amazingly real.
Steven Mackintosh is a revelation as Kim and his heartbreaking nuances capture an inner struggle between the mind and the heart with wonderful simplicity.
Saskia Reeves (perfect in Antonia & Jane) and Neil Dudgeon also stand out as the married couple who Kim turns to for support.
While far from being a great film, it trumps many, many, MANY other movies that try to be honest and believable in their depiction of gay or transsexual romance.
18 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
A film about bravery, crossing borders, love, and struggling with sensory perception, 21 September 1999
Author: Swier Oosterhuis (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Leiden, Netherlands
This film hit me like a lightning bolt. It brought tears to my face and almost restored my faith in the human race. It tries to tell us that even the unthinkable can be done if we accept the combined power of feelings and imagination. We see people struggle with age old morals, their youth and upbringing. We can almost taste the bitter loneliness of the adapted transsexual as we can actually feel the pain of the struggling rebel that (almost) cannot accept the discrepancies between memory and perception, between love, lust and friendship, between what's done and not done. The actors make it all believable and enjoyable. They live the parts that show true bravery in crossing holy borders.
12 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Excellent, Much Better Than I Expected......, 13 December 2004
Author: indigopussycat2 from North East U.K.
I began to watch this film thinking that it would be about the usual
prejudice and queer bashing.......
What I realized is that it was a very touching drama about a post-op male to female transsexual and a former male schoolfriend.
I thoroughly enjoyed this and have watched it 8 times in 3 days. It is so touching and tender and at the end, concentrates on the nice side of life. It makes me feel so humble.
It has given me a lot to think about how I was maybe a little more judgemental than I thought I was.
I have fallen for Rupert Graves, who plays the male schoolfriend,- I have visited his website and am going home to find the film, 'Damage', which I already have - and I have ordered 'Room With A View'.
Rupert and Steven are such a brilliant actors.
I can't believe that Steven Mackintosh, who played the very gentle and very ladylike, Kim, could be the same horrible guy who is 'The Street', thug and bullyboy from Prime Suspect 5.
Both excellent main actors, as well as a well known supporting cast, which included Charlotte Coleman, (who has sadly since died, aged 33, from an asthma attack), Saskia Reeves, Miriam Margolyes and Neil Dudgeon.
I have looked for the DVD on region 2 in this country, but I can only find it NTSC, Region 1.
Can anyone help ?
11 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Definitely Different, 11 March 2000
Author: gbheron from Washington, DC
In the opening scene of Different for Girls, Karl's boarding-school classmates are tormenting him for his effeminate nature. To his rescue comes friend and protector, Paul. Roll the opening credits, and flash to the next scene, 16 years in the future. It's the scene of a minor traffic accident and two of the individuals involved appear familiar to one another, but something is amiss. Paul, now a punkish motorcycle courier is one, but the other is demure, stylish, female.... its Karl. Paul and Karl (now Kim thanks to sex-change surgery) finally recognize one another and begin a relationship that slowly evolves to romance. The movie essentially chronicles the emotional journey of this odd-couple; and it's done with the proper mix of humor and drama. Well worth the rental.
11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Well worth viewing. Quite moving in parts, with slightly uneven mix of Comedy, Drama and Tragedy, 18 December 2004
Author: tsofi from London area, England
Missed this first time round, but unintentionally caught a late
night/early hours TV airing in the UK. Steve Mackintosh sustains a
serious dramatic presence and role as Kim against the heavily scripted
comedic/stereotype 'unreformed male' buffoonery of the friend/partner
Paul Prentice played by Rupert Graves. Although at times the dynamic of
the two styles gives an uneven feel to the whole narrative, the
underlying point of apparent complete contrasts, but underlying and
overlapping commonality of involvement and feeling is well made. Some
of the scenes are intensely moving, particularly those in the police
station when Kim is facing arrest and conviction and is placed alone in
a cell, uncertain of whether she will face the immediate unwelcome
company of another unknown male cellmate, and/or eventual consignment
to a male prison. This is hardly comedy, certainly real life drama, and
contains the essence of real tragedy. Other scenes in the film evoke
similar high tensions in emotional colour and reading.
Overall delivery was a little uneven, but well worth viewing again. Would be worth a full 'in-line drama' remake of the theme, as other commentators have also hinted. A good attempt at a very difficult subject which manages to hit the right emotional responses without actually falling off the tightrope between banality and exploitation.
9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
This worked, 8 July 2002
Author: jtur88 from Michigan
Aside from any psycho-analytical considerations (in which I have no competence), this film really worked for me. I typically give a wide berth to pictures of this ilk, but I was really captivated by the sense that these characters were really living the circumstances in which they found themselves. I'm not going to blather on about how relevant blah blah, but the fact is that Nobody is immune from the possibility that an experience like this might present itself in real life, and it is thought-provoking to reflect on how it might affect ME. This is a complex subject, uncomfortable to many, but explored here in a way that was good sociology, good psychology, and damned fine cinema. Whatever your hang-ups are (or aren't), enjoy this film.
13 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
The Defense of Inside Gender with Outside Gender., 11 August 2001
Author: vtsnowblis from Freud's Chaise
Alright...maybe this is too psychoanalytical an approach for the film, but
Completely intrigued by the development of the principal characters
their evolving relationship, I took in 2 screenings of this film, as this
movie is like an onion -which to get to the core of its subject and to
understand its mystery, you have to peel off the multiple
A shower scene, a school picture, and a tabloid article are crucial
clues that mold the dependency and sexual confusion that bonds the Prentice
and Karl/Kim characters together. Their relationship has endured since
highschool. We see a young man, who has subtly hidden his sex is embracing
his feminine side in the schoolshower. Just before he gets the sh-- kicked
out of him by homophobic schoolmates, another boy gallantly rescues the
pretty boy from the mob. The audience immediately assumes that it is Karl
who was questioning his sex in the shower--but disclosed in later pics, we
discover that it is actually Prentice who was doing the introspection!
Karl/Kim who could relate to the scene was the actual rescuer.
Portrayed as cool, bold, logical, and independent Karl/Kim presents him/herself with the unflappable reserve of a male personality, who feels dysfunctional with exterior male genitalia. Changing Karl to Kim remedies his/her warped body image, so that he can obtain the feminine exterior which appears so desirable. Expression of the dual conflicting natures can be seen throughout the film as she tries to overcompensate for this masculine interior of herself, by dressing in conservative woman's clothing and finding a feminine career as a Greeting card composer. Even her condo is done up in overtly feminine hues. Prentice is the antithesis of Kim. He is flighty, emotional, dependent and vulnerable. Contrasting Kim, he has an interior feminine nature that is contained in a masculine exterior that is repressed and hidden in a major bravado of masculinity. This is demonstrated with his embracing the fury of punk music, playing the leather-clad macho biker messenger, and keeping up an affront of being a boozer and rebel-rouser. Even Prentice's studio apt seems an exercise in testosterone proving, looking much like an uncleaned dormroom. Peeks at his interior femininity however do come through subtly- he fems up in a ruffled shirt for Kim, and wears a purple T-shirt under his workgarb. Look at Prentices enchanted glance to Kim, versus her patriarchial look back at him in the school pic. His eventual assertion that men are women with an added chromosone. In summation, Prentice completes Kim in that his feminine interior desires her masculine interior, while alternately his masculine exterior fulfills her (now) feminine exterior. If you don't look at Kim's Before/After photo in the tabloid, you don't realize that the character's gender roles were reversed in the school scenes. Kim becomes Prentice's rescuer once again when he emotionally loses it after their first date, and she must stand up again for him (this time it's police bullies) in court! When Kim strips for Prentice, It is like a mirror to the inside of his soul. Complex Film indeed!!!
11 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Different For ... Just About Everything, 8 February 2003
Author: (tim.halkin) from Munich, Germany
What a brave and unusual romantic comedy. Thank God the BBC is still
open-minded enough for such projects, which are not only important, but
ultimately wonderfully entertaining.
At the core of the boy-meets-girl, who used to be one of his mates at school, now transsexual, love story is Steven Mackintosh, who portrays Karl-now-Kim with such dignity and style that this film never feels sticky or cumbersome, as one might fear going into it.
Rupert Graves plays the bad-boy "Prentice" with such charm that one thoroughly understands why Kim allows her new-found, quiet life to be turned upside down. He shows Kim that finding the right gender doesn't necessarily make you a whole person...That comes from conviction and caring. It requires passion - something he's full of and is able to rekindle in his old schoolmate. And who knows...maybe she'll get him to change his socks daily!
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
It fits! It bloody fits!, 11 August 2005
Author: Andy (film-critic) from Bookseller of the Blue Ridge
Love, in Different for Girls, broke all boundaries. It went past the
idea of straight or gay and went directly into the idea that two people
can fall in love no matter what consequences or hurdles life may have
awaiting for them. It went beyond the sexual parameters set forth in
most films and instead lied them out on the table for the world to see.
The was a very real love story. In fact, I would say it was one of the
more true stories that I have seen on the screen for a very long time.
You could see the chemistry, you could see the insecurity, you could
see the beginnings of a beautiful relationship and it was perfect. You
know the unsure feelings that you have when you first begin a
relationship, the hesitancy, the butterflies, the stepping stones .
well, they were all demonstrated in this film. I cannot speak enough of
how real and true this film was. It confirmed my belief that you do not
need to have the clichéd, pronounced roles of male and female to have a
beautiful love story, all you need are two people and a heart that
needs to be found.
The acting was decent. There could have been a bit more passion between the two, but I am not complaining. I completely understood what they wanted, where they wanted to go, and what they needed to do to achieve it. One of the most powerful scenes of this film was when Kim undresses and they make love. For the first time in cinema history, it was love and not sex. They did it to better their relationship, to say to each other that they were comfortable with their decisions. They wanted to say "I love you" in the best way possible. While no words were spoken, you were able to glance into their minds and hearts, and it takes very good acting to allow this to happen. They even demonstrate this even further when Prentice lays for a while after talking about what just happened and he ponders over what to do now he had no job or money and nowhere to live. Together they work on a solution. There is no "me" in this relationship. This is when Prentice decides to finally make his true feelings known in a very bold, yet beautiful fashion. You will have to see the film to experience the true emotion.
Overall, I was very impressed with this film. I loved the boundaries that it broke, again .. the truth that it spoke, and the realistic story that it presented. For those that will look at this review and get quinsy in their stomachs, I ask you think . what is so different between this story and most of the recycled Hollywood garbage that we watch on a weekly basis? My answer is nothing. If I have to watch a man and a woman kiss for twenty minutes on screen, I sure as anything want to see other parts of our culture as well. This was a beautiful film that will be used as a stepping stone for other films of this nature. While I cannot say that it was perfect, it was a start. I cannot wait to see where this film will take us in the future. I suggest this film to anyone that is looking to see a fresh story on a very old tale. Beautiful and amazing!!
Grade: *** out of *****
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