Different for Girls.When they were English schoolboys in the 1970s, it was always Paul who fearlessly defended the effeminate ef·fem·i·nate
1. Having qualities or characteristics more often associated with women than men. See Synonyms at female.
2. Characterized by weakness and excessive refinement. Karl from the taunts and threats of classmates. Two decades later, when they literally run into each other on a London street, straight-as-a-string motorbike messenger Paul (Rupert Graves) recognizes his boyhood friend, even though Karl is now Kim (Steven Mackintosh), a prim, post-operative transsexual trans·sex·u·al
A person who strongly identifies with the opposite gender and who chooses to live as a member of the opposite gender or to become one by surgery.
1. Of or relating to such a person.
Neither has changed that much. Paul is still a loose cannon with a hyperactive personality and a hair-trigger temper. Although Kim has a good job writing greeting cards, a nice apartment, and the acceptance of her family, she is subdued and defensive, as if she doesn't expect to be believed as a woman any more than she was as a man.
Different for Girls puts the reunited pair through a series of mostly harrowing paces--they narrowly avoid being beaten up at a punk bar and are arrested by homophobic cops who think they're a gay couple--that make clear their mutual attraction, class differences, conflicting personalities, and penchant for trouble. When Paul reminds Kim that he's straight, she shoots back, "So am I!" And when he asks her to explain how her body has changed, Kim's description gives the embarrassed Paul an erection that results in his panicked exit.
Director Richard Spence builds the repressed eroticism Eroticism
novel of Alexandrian manners by Pierre Louys. [Fr. Lit.: Benét, 783]
Ovid’s treatise on lovemaking. [Rom. Lit. of the reconfigured relationship to a simmering eleventh-hour love scene, and it's refreshing to see a screen transsexual who doesn't lip-synch "I Will Survive" to establish her credentials. The couple's transition from mismatched misfits to a postmodern Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr may strain credulity cre·du·li·ty
A disposition to believe too readily.
[Middle English credulite, from Old French, from Latin cr , and a subplot involving Kim's sister (Saskia Reeves) is a wash. But these draw-backs don't dull Different for Girls' double edge. Although the lovers are identified as heterosexual, it's two men up there on the screen kissing, having sex, and falling in love.
Those who remember Mackintosh as the anarchic punk rocker in The Buddha of Suburbia and the vicious drug lord of Prime Suspect 5 will be startled star·tle
v. star·tled, star·tling, star·tles
1. To cause to make a quick involuntary movement or start.
2. To alarm, frighten, or surprise suddenly. See Synonyms at frighten. by his convincing performance as Kim; and, in a far cry from his stylized styl·ize
tr.v. styl·ized, styl·iz·ing, styl·iz·es
1. To restrict or make conform to a particular style.
2. To represent conventionally; conventionalize. Merchant-Ivory days (A Room With a View
A Room with a View is a 1908 novel by English writer E. M. , Maurice), Graves is electric as the volatile Paul. In his feature debut, screenwriter Tony Marchant has written what is essentially the first gay-to-straight comingout movie. It may not be flawless, but it certainly is compelling.