Cassandra, a solitary writer in Barcelona (a US ex-pat) gets a call for help from a stranger - a stylish woman named Frankie - who wants Cassandra to find her husband, so he can sign some important papers. Nothing Frankie says is true: the husband turns out to be a woman, the issue isn't legal papers but a child's custody, and even Frankie's most obvious identity, in red cape and red pumps, is a false front. But Cassandra keeps at it, at first to earn her promised fee, and then to help Frankie, then Frankie's ex, then the child. Along the way, this solitary and somewhat disconnected and bewildered writer frees herself to finish a novel and re-establish a broken relationship. Written by
[about his date]
You know I never would have guessed it.
That she was a transexual
[Cassandra chokes on her drink]
Not that I'm judgemental mind you, people are all different - I'm bisexual for instance.
[She chokes again]
Oh I'm sorry, being Irish you must not be used to talking about bisexuals, let alone transvestities.
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Wonderfully, funny satire of gender bending with only a few slow parts when the screenwriter forgets we don't really need any serious moralizing in this kind of film.
Our plot has Judy Davis, as Cassandra, a sort of almost middle aged, expatriot writer living in Spain trying to finish her novel. She is hired by Frankie, a very sexy deserted wife, to track down her missing daughter because of her bilingual skills.
Things aren't exactly what they seem and we find that Frankie is actually the transsexual father of the missing child who is now living with her natural mother Ben, a lesbian, who is engaged in a 'menage a trois' with her bisexual lover Hamilton and 'their lover' April, wonderfully played by Juliette Lewis.
The confusion makes for some very funny lines that are so well played that the situation seems almost natural. The screenwriter goes somewhat adrift later on with some totally unnecessary reflections by Cassandra, who apparently has sexual identity problems of her own, but the film as a whole is just wonderfully refreshing when compared to most of today's "statement" films. Good soundtrack too.
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