Kinky Boots (2005) Poster

(2005)

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8/10
Wholesome family values Movie
Roedy Green3 May 2006
This movie is about old-fashioned values like decency and unselfishness. Though the premise, an old style English shoe factory avoiding bankruptcy by designing boots for drag queens sounds sleazy, this movie is squeaky clean entertainment suitable for children.

The camera work is entertaining, especially, oddly the closeup scenes of shoes being manufactured, streams of colour zipping along to the upbeat music.

It is a movie without villains. The conflict comes from selfish vs unselfish motives, self direction vs worrying what others think, despair vs taking responsibility.

Of course the theme of tolerance for diversity is woven through. The movie does not have the usual silly Hollywood tolerance breakthroughs. It comes in fits and starts with back pedaling and tolerance from surprising sources.

The lead drag queen Lola sings better than anyone on American Idol, in a genre all her own. The musical numbers are far better than you will see an any real world drag show. These are not female impersonators. None of the drag queens would ever pass as female.

This is a character-based tragi-comedy about wildly different outcasts interacting. Of course the basic plot is predictable if you watch the trailers and use your intellect. But that is not how to watch this comedy. It is a bit like complaining that Lucille Ball was inevitably going to get herself covered in some sort of mess in the Long Trailer or that a Marx brothers comedy would end in a pie fight. Immerse yourself in the movie's reality. I was genuinely surprised by the ending, though in retrospect it was inevitable. Plot twists like a murder mystery is not what this movie is about. If all you care about is plot, skip this movie; it will go over your head.

All said, unless you have a heart of stone, you will come out smiling and more optimistic than when you went in.
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10/10
Enchanting story of a drag queen and a shoemaker
blanche-227 May 2006
"Kinky Boots" is a delightful film based on a true story about the travails of a shoe manufacturing factory set in Northampton, England. When Charlie Price (Joel Edgerton) takes over the family shoe business, he discovers the company is practically out of business. After laying off a bunch of people, one of the young women he's making "redundant" tells him the company needs to find its niche. He finds it by accident when he helps a drag queen named Lola (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who's about to be attacked by a group of men. After watching Lola's shows, Charlie decides the niche will be shoe wear for "a variety of men," i.e., drag queens et al., who have trouble finding womens shoes that fit. He invites Lola to Northampton to help design and test the shoes.

Funny, warm, with characters you care about, "Kinky Boots" says something about societal attitudes towards those who are different and what it truly means to be a man, but doesn't beat you over the head with it. It has a great story, lots of humor, and excellent acting, particularly from Chiwetel Ejiofor and Joel Edgerton. While everyone else in the film complex was at "The Da Vinci Code" and "MI: 3", several of us were being royally entertained by an old-fashioned story. We loved every minute of it.
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8/10
Cheeky, good fun!
HaloFive0030 April 2006
Kinky Boots is a cheeky, fun little movie that has a simple message, but a life all its own! It is part of the new wave of irreverent British comedies and it holds its own against the rest of the pack.

Chiwetel Ejiofor shines in this film, proving once again that he's an actor to watch. After compelling turns in Inside Man and Dirty Pretty Things (among others), he defies convention in Kinky Boots--this is not an actor who can be type cast! He is riveting as Lola/Simon, convincing through and through.

There are some subplots that fall a little flat, but the story is very cute overall. The actors are uniformly good, but Ejiofor stands out. In addition, the production design is also pretty well done--the drag sequences are hysterical and a joy to behold. This film put a gigantic smile on my face that stayed put for the rest of the day!
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8/10
Excellent film with great performances and very funny at times
jhab-14 March 2006
I really enjoyed Kinky Boots - great performances by both Joel Edgerton and Chiwetel Ejiofor. It's the first time I've seen Joel Edgerton in a lead role and I think he carries it off quite well, though I'm probably biased as I like him as an actor. It was very interesting to see Chiwetel Ejiofor later the same evening in a totally different sort of role as the Operative in "Serenity", showing his ability to play a broad range of characters. It's very funny in parts - the first film I've been to in a long time where I've had a really good laugh. The rest of the audience obviously enjoyed the humour as well. The humour generally revolves around Lola and the way that people relate to her, but it avoids stereotypical jokes. It's not only funny, but also quite moving at times, and again that tends to relate to the way people deal with Lola, which usually says more about them than her - ultimately a feel good movie and based (not sure how closely) on a true story. Overall, it's a well told story, with likable characters, a plot that's believable, and left me feeling good about the characters and what happened to them.
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10/10
The most fun was my husband ordering tickets - 2 Kinky Boots Please
barsaun17 May 2006
I enjoyed everything about this movie. It was warm, funny and intellectual without forcing an opinion or preaching. I found the characters rich and likable (except the Fiancé - but you weren't supposed to like her). My husband is a very "straight" man - and he laughed as hard and enjoyed the film so much he ordered the soundtrack on Amazon as soon as we got home.

We particularly liked when it was clear that Charlie and Lola were both as good a man as their fathers - if not better. We found Lola likable no matter which way he/she was dressed and loved Lola's challenge of Don - Change your mind about someone

See it
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Kinky Boots Will Rock The Screen
Chrysanthepop11 February 2008
'Kinky Boots' is a splendid colourful little film with a big heart. Those who have enjoyed heartfelt films like 'Calender Girls' and 'Billy Elliot' will love this one too. It's also one of the many things I love about little British movies. They have a very simple message, a simple story to tell about real people but they tell it with heart and soul without throwing the message 'in your face'. Director Julian Jarrold does not disappoint in that front and, as is the case with many such films, they strongly rely on performances too. Chiwetel Ejiofor remains one of the underrated talents of the generation and he totally carries the film. All the effort he's gone through for the character has certainly paid off. He looks the part and, next to acting, the guy sure can sing too. Joel Edgerton provides a brilliant contrast to Ejiofor's Lola/Simon (as demanded by the character) and, in a subtle way, he also conveys the similarities and pain that both characters share. Sarah-Jane Potts is a charming delight. The rest of the cast that includes talents like Nick Frost and Linda Bassett lend sufficient support with their strong presence and comedy. The delightful camera-work dances to the tune of the wonderful score. The slick shots of the shoes being manufactures is very notable. There are so many laugh-out-loud sequences especially the hilarious 'drag' sequences (which are funny without making a mockery out of drag queens and transvestites). Even though it's based on a short story, the inspiration clearly shows and the writers have created a great fun story. In the end, I felt a little uplifted and it left a smile.
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10/10
Absolutely worth your time
tym723 April 2006
Like The Full Monty, this is a very satisfying, and ultimately uplifting film. It's basically about two people who have seemingly nothing in common, but are actually at similar crossroads in their lives. The performances by Joel Edgerton and Chiwetel Ejiofor are great and the plotting is nicely handled. The supporting roles are just as richly played as the main ones and provide many moments of humor. While there is a lot to laugh about, the film is strongest when dealing with the characters' foibles and triumphs over them.

This is a small film with giant themes and is definitely worth your time.
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9/10
Frank Capra Would Have Appreciated This
bkoganbing12 May 2006
We on the other side of the Atlantic are only now getting to see this wonderful comedy/drama from the United Kingdom. Hard to believe for some that a film with drag entertainers could take its inspiration from Frank Capra.

But that's exactly what you have here. Charlie Price played by Joel Edgerton is a 21st century George Bailey, the closest I've ever seen to one portrayed in a long time. He's inherited his family business which is a shoe factory in Northampton. But the market is interested in the kind of craftsmanship his company has been known for over generations. Outlets are now buying cheaper stuff from the former Soviet bloc. He's letting his workers go.

One of them, Linda Bassett, tells him to get up and fight. And an inspiration hits him in the form of a spiked heel. He rescues what he first thinks is a woman, but it is a drag entertainer played by Chiwetel Ejiofor. Her spike has broken off in the attack and she's going to have to lay out some big money for new boots.

Like in the old cartoons, a lightbulb goes on over his head and he realizes there's a market here untapped for feminine footwear for cross-dressers. And who better to design the stuff than the person who knows her needs best.

It's not as easy as it sounds. Edgerton has a whole load of issues to overcome as does Ejiofor in learning to trust and respect his new business partner.

If you've seen any of Frank Capra's populist classics from the Thirties and Forties you already know what the ending will be.

Though for the life of me I cannot see James Stewart doing what Edgerton almost has to do to save the situation at the fashion show.
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10/10
Funny and sexy
chris180014 May 2006
I laughed all through the movie and loved the drag. This movie was predictable, but it reminded me of how hard it is to change your perspective. When will someone make a movie of drag shows with this kind of great choreography and music? The costumes were definitely inspired by Priscilla Queen of the Desert. While my movie companion thought that Kinky Boots ran too long, I couldn't get enough. We both agreed that many of the jokes were over played in the straight-meets-drag genre. I can't wait for the DVD director's cut to come out for the extra scenes and commentary. Let's hope we don't have to wait another decade for this type of comedy with its tint of self improvement.
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10/10
Kinky Boots Factory is in fact STILL OPEN
jgharris129 November 2006
Actually they remain open for business the following was taken directly from their website at 10:30cst on 11-29-2006. Please remember they are a manufacturer of "kinky" products so 18 or over only please.

www.divine.co.uk

The Kinky Boot Factory now famous for the film " KINKY BOOTS" and also for the BBC TV programme " TROUBLE AT THE TOP " is an English based company from Northamptonshire with over a 115 years of trading history in the footwear industry, we carry over 2,500 pairs of footwear in stock in sizes ladies 3 up to men's size 13,a vast majority of these are Made In England by traditional craftsmen to a high quality from hand picked materials and our clothing ranges are also mainly made in the UK and again we have a vast stock.

It was with great pleasure that we have been involved in the making of the film " KINKY BOOTS" as the actual story was based on our movement into the erotic footwear scene also having been featured on many television programs such as, "Trouble At The Top", "Trisha", "Esther", "Men And Motors" and many other programs, we pride our selves in trying to give our customers value for money and customer service, advice and help in all aspects of their purchases.
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8/10
Run-of-the-mill story with a charming, feel-good coating
floatmyboat15 April 2007
Kinky Boots has perhaps the most charming beginning I can bring to mind. A young girl sits on a bench, bored as she waits for her father. As music starts playing in her head, she springs to her feet, puts on glam stilettos, and dances to the tune. Her angry father sees her and glowers, admonishing her with a "Silly boy!". What we just witnessed were the humble beginnings of Simon, the drag-queen. Intrigued? So was I, as a wholly unique kernel of story unfolded - a dying shoe factory is spurred to life when the reluctant owner Charlie Price finds a niche market making durable shoes for men who wear women's shoes. With the help of flamboyant transvestite Lola, the stage-name of ex-boxer Simon, Charlie tries to turn around his family business, making new friends and finding love along the way.

Kinky Boots is heavily reminiscent of the Hindi film Hum Hain Raahi Pyaar Ke (starring Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla). Both are stories of a reluctant non-entity burdened with the responsibility of the family business, facing difficulties from both inside and outside the workplace, and turning it around before it is too late. The plot isn't terribly innovative. In fact, with the exception of Simon/Lola, almost every character is someone you would expect to see - Charlie Price is the unsure, clumsy, but always passionate leader of the pack. Nichola is his uncaring, cheating girlfriend. Don is the bigoted strong-man with a heart of gold. The leading lady is the standard strong, yet supportive and loving woman, someone who had to be the exact opposite of Charlie's girlfriend.

The driving force of the film is, without doubt, Chiwetel Ejiofor, who plays both Simon and Lola. His incredible talents are put to good use as his character flips from overbearing to supportive, feisty to contemplative, showing a wide range of emotions as only a thoroughbred such as him can. His actions drip fluency as Lola and awkwardness as Simon, which would seem very characteristic of someone who feels out of place in his natural skin. He even belts out some saucy cabaret numbers in a transvestite club! How many actors have that on their resume? The film has all the trappings of a manipulative, feel-good movie that we are used to. Although it can get annoying when you realize the same old tricks are being used, the mind sometimes does enjoy being pandered to, seeing good happen to good people. It has been done before, several times over, but it takes skill to bring in a new setting, to surprise the audience with a twist or four, and to avoid the more boring pitfalls. Kinky Boots does most of these and so makes for a good watch.
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10/10
FANTASTIC movie...GREAT acting...REALLY entertaining
newyorik15 January 2007
I was wary of this movie when I spotted it on the list of TV's Movies On Demand channel. But I went ahead and took a chance ... and I found myself totally immersed in one of the most superb movies I have ever seen. ... the story line is real-life and human ... properly played out by the top-notch natural acting of the ENTIRE cast ... editing and photography and music and choreography and .... well, everything about this movie is terrific ... no flaws. One cannot help falling in love with Lola, extraordinarily portrayed by Chiwetel Ejiofor ... a 2007 Golden Globe nominee. Even the "little people" are included in ways that give this MUST SEE film its texture and humor.
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10/10
Shockingly excellent!
cwatki1232 November 2005
I didn't want to see this film but did, because I arrived too late for the film I wanted to see, and in retrospect what a fine mistake I made. This film isn't comedy in it's usual sense, more drama with satire. The characters are completely believable and the story is very easy to follow. I must admit it's predictable in places but that makes it all the more amusing as you sit in embarrassed anticipation, sure of what is to happen. The music, especially from 'Lola' is fantastic and had me, and my friends rolling around in the aisles, crying with laughter. When people say, 'oh, it's a film about transvestites' it doesn't really have an appealing ring to it, but not watching it would the wrong decision.
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4/10
Good story, but not enough comedy.
Movieguy_blogs_com27 April 2006
In 'Kinky Boots' Joel Edgerton plays Charlie Price, a young man with big dreams outside of Northampton. Suddenly, the death of his father forces him to leave London and return home. He has to resume his father's role and take over the family business, something he has dreaded most of his life. When he discovers that the business is in turmoil, he has to come up with a radical idea that will save everyone job. With the help of a popular drag queen (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Charlie decides to switch gears and start making women's shoes. Women's shoes that are strong enough for a man.

This movie was a little disappointing; I thought it would be funnier. It does have its moments. Joel Edgerton does an amusing job as the businessman without a clue. I liked Chiwetel Ejiofor as the brave Lola/Simon drag queen. However, when he sings, I feel someone else would have been more suited for the role. Good story, but not enough comedy.
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7/10
A Feelgood film in Drag & Boots
djhuckel27 February 2006
Kinky Boots is an English film akin to a cross between 'The Full Monty & 'Priscilla Queen of the Desert'. I hate comparisons but if one was to draw one to people unfamiliar with its story, this would be the best one.

A few years between drinks so I suppose this tale can be told again with its own twist. This time its a shoe company down on its luck and now in the hands of third generation shoe-smith Charlie Price (Joel Edgerton). Charlie is having bad luck with his girlfriend and hating the fact he will have to layoff his staff. In his time of woe he happens upon a drag show. He of course zooms in on the shoes all are wearing and especially his new 'friend' Lola… It is decided that Price Shoes will create women boots for to fit men. What ensues is the heart warming tale of men afraid of what they don't know (ie drag queens) warming to them, the stranger bringing everyone closer together, and the man getting the girl (vice versa too). But its all good, it's a good watch, I haven't told you all the facts because remember… watching the chase and catch is fun also.

Nick Frost is here as Don. Frost was Shauns witless sidekick in Shaun of the Dead. He is very funny here too though in a smaller role.

A great night out for all.
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4/10
Based on a true story, this preciously packaged fluff follows one predictable pattern after another...
moonspinner5522 June 2008
A young man whose specialty lies in marketing takes over his dead father's ailing shoe-making factory, turning the product away from mens-wear into a boot business for drag queens. Is it possible to build a feel-good comedy on the ultimate fortunes of a sad sack from Britain's Northampton district who can't tell an evil, nasty girl (his fiancée) from an honest, hard-working one with an open mind? In this slimly-plotted British film directed by Julian Jarrold, the working-class are automatic bigots, women who strive for a life outside of the factories are bitches, and the enemy is someone with a closed mind (who has to be faced down on his turf in order to become enlightened). Though based on a real account, "Kinky Boots" is a tried-and-untrue stomp down familiar avenues. Joel Edgerton, who resembles Conan O'Brien, is serviceable as the new businessman until it's discovered that he too has issues with cross-dressers; putting an entire fashion show in Milan on the line, he turns on his friend and designer (Chiwetel Ejiofor) out of embarrassment. This is the kind of movie where people stare in shocked silence at other people "they don't understand", but the rejection here seems rooted in something more personal, less abstract--it's so disheartening that whatever triumphs follow ring false (some apologies come too late to matter). The happy-endings, which are then tacked on, have no exhilaration, no juicy kick. It's all shallow Hollywood--UK style. *1/2 from ****
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7/10
Excellent British comedy
imdb-99145 October 2005
I'm a Northamptonian and just watched the film in Northampton at the Northampton premiere. I'm slightly Northamptoned out. Excellent British comedy, I enjoyed it a lot more than Calendar Girls.

I normally find these kind of films deeply predictable, but this one surprised me. It has a bit of a deep and meaningful message, but never gets lost as to what it is along the way, and keeps the laughs going.

Somewhat bizarre depiction of Northampton however - every other shot is either of a weird northern-like back alley or of northern-like houses against countryside... and I don't think you've been able to see fields like those from Northampton railway station for at least 60 years. You don't really get the impression that Northampton is one of the UK's largest towns!

Well worth a watch. And points go to whoever spots the Northampton Saints (rugby team) mug.
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9/10
Chiwetel Ejiofor is Brilliant
dparan26 June 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Chiwetel carries this film with the grace and presence of an all star. My goodness, this guy is brilliant as a drag queen. Although I've watched him in many films, he never stood out to me as a great actor, mainly due to my own dimwittedness. He's an amazing character actor and the subtleties, the persona and the over the moment were performed to perfection.

This is a film that uses a standard formula, lets get that straight. Business is poor, an unlikely hero comes into the picture, takes up the challenge, loses what he's holding onto, grows out of his own skin and brings the business back to it's feet. We've seen a hundred or more films like this. But why should using a standard formula be a cause for disliking a film? It shouldn't. Its a formula and the question should lie in how it was executed. Well casted, well scripted, well directed and well edited.

This film has my vote.
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9/10
Heartwarming, compelling, and just plain fun!
Dreambound28 December 2011
This is a movie the whole family will like -- assuming your whole family, like mine, likes Rocky Horror and the line "You are making two and a half feet of irresistible, tubular sex" doesn't freak anyone out too much. I showed this movie to my best friend not long ago and she went from a skeptic (because, let's face it, the title doesn't conjure up images of family fun) to a wholehearted believer, too.

The movie takes you on a ride you won't forget. You'll go through surprise, amusement, shock, anger, joy, and even moments of fabulous rage. You'll sing along with Lola. You'll plead with Charlie to man up.

This is one of the few movies that never fails to cheer me up. If you're a fan of heteronormative action movies, it'll probably make you uncomfortable now and again, but like those who meet Lola, you'll fall for her quirks and grace, Charlie's awkward and belated personal growth, Nicola's business smarts, and even the old lady who rents out Lola's room.

I'm not a big fan of musicals or lots of singing in a movie, but every musical number fits in perfectly and there aren't any random outbursts of song, so I was happy.

Every time I watch this movie, I fall in love a little more. Yeah, some people might think it's clichéd, but I'm not watching an earth-shattering documentary... I'm watching a movie that will always make me laugh a little, cry a little, and feel warm inside for days afterwards. Watch it -- you'll like it.
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Drag queens usually add a bit more sparkle.
sunznc22 December 2011
Kinky Boots is actually a very benign, tame film. The lead character, who is a cross dresser who performs at a nightclub, seems very aloof in the film even when on stage strutting his stuff. But as a man, he is not confident by his own admission and seems even more withdrawn.

The problem I have with the film is just that-his remoteness. This is one of those films when a straight person is in the middle of a crisis of some sort and he accidentally stumbles across a drag queen who is going to blow into his life, glitter and sequins, and enlighten him, change his life and save the day! Something that has been done in better films like Too Wong Foo, which had much more punch.

Why is it drag queens in films seem to sweep into a heterosexual's life and become the hero? Isn't this sort of tired? Haven't we seen this before? OK, this story is a bit different because the lead straight man works in a shoe factory that was owned by his family and they are in a funk because they keep making the same shoe year after year after year. Our drag queen is going to inspire a whole new series of shoes and guess what those shoes are?

One thing I did not buy about this film was just that issue. The issue of the shoes. I've known several drag queens and if we are to believe that this drag queen has been at this business as long as they portray, I can tell you he would have already had the shoe issue down. This would not have been an issue at this point in his career. But, we need the shoe maker to make the new shoes and we need the drag queen to inspire a new line so we have Kinky Boots.

Kinky Boots is not a bad film. But it is rather flat. Nothing too deep or new here. And oddly enough, nothing all that glitzy either which is what we all expect isn't it? When we have a drag queen in a movie? I think so. I think Frank N Furter would have been disappointed in this.
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8/10
Pity about the title
beresfordjd14 January 2009
It is a great pity that the title was "Kinky Boots". I am sure that it led some people to expect soft porn so those who flocked to it for that reason were disappointed and those who stayed away for the same reason missed an excellent little film. it was never going to be a blockbuster but it should have had least the business that "THE FULL MONTY" had. I think it would have appealed to the same people. Ejiofor was great in this ,I have to say totally unexpected by me, But of course he is a good actor and has a complete range. Everyone shows up well in this piece and it was a real treat to watch something intelligent, well written and acted and an adult film in the best sense of the word.Perhaps it was a plea for tolerance, perhaps not, but it certainly must have had that affect on viewers with open minds. It was also a rather good education for struggling businesses. Try something new it shouts. Good stuff.
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8/10
funny
wrlang15 January 2007
Kinky Boots is about a man who takes over a shoe factory from his father and finds the factory in bankruptcy. His father has made some very bad business decisions that he must fix. He starts the closure and sale process when an employee comes up with an interesting idea – find a niche market. After inadvertently protecting a cross dresser from a group of thugs, the shoe factory owner finds the niche market in kinky boots that are made for the weight of a man. After some emotional bantering between the main characters, they finally get things rolling. This is an uplifting movie about friendship and relationships that are hard fought and hard won. A class A film technically.
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8/10
Kicky Tale
J_Kozik3 January 2007
A surprising tale of succeeding to change in a business where change is unwelcome. Hyped as something Kinky, this tale is really about people and their difficulties with change. At times the script is a little to glossy and breezy with the difficulties of personal change.

Charlie is a little to rumpled and cuddly. Nicola is too focused on being the material girl. Lola is outstanding as the Diva, and the change agent. Lauren is 'the plucky girl' who you know will stay true.

The finale takes what had been building and kicks it up to the next level, with happy bedlam and success, the scene throws off definite links to 'Cabaret' and the KitKat girls.

Definitely an enjoyable, change of pace, film.
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8/10
A warm, beautiful, and funny film
wenda_akil9 December 2006
I just watched this movie and I really enjoyed it. When I saw the poster I thought it was a full comedy film that tried to make you laugh with their silly jokes and stuff. But I found the film was more a drama than a comedy. The film is like usual dramas when we can feel the upside downs of the characters but this film really accepts in your heart for the warmness and the funny things that happen. It's actually pretty simple about a man facing choices and dilemmas in life on a shoe factory his family had owned for generations. This film is a funny drama that's inspired on a true story and is very worth watching.

8/10
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8/10
Yet another wonderfully made Brit movie
plutus194718 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Being a 150% full blooded heterosexual, I wondered how I would take to a film about making boots for cross dressers and drag queens. The truth is I thoroughly enjoyed it and have added it to my list of movies I must have.

The Brits keep coming up with great story lines and scripts and managing to make their movies on a shoestring (pardon me, bootstring budget).

Not only that, they always manage to get the right actors for the right parts.

My compliments to all those involved in the making of this film. It is loosely based on an actual factory which made kinky boots, As will be seen if you watch the extras.

If you have not already seen it, beg or borrow it, settle down and have a couple of hours fun and relaxation watching it.

The catwalk scene was really something else.

Plutus1947
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