The film “Boy Meets Girl” by director Eric Shaeffer is a romantic comedy starring Robby (Michael Welch), and his transgendered female friend Ricky. The two have grown up together in a small town and have been best friends without ever having romantic interest in each other. Ricky makes the decision to try dating girls due to the lack of potential acceptable romantic male partners. She meets Francesca, a beautiful young girl, daughter of a rich politician, engaged to an overseas marine. Their friendships blossoms quickly, and soon becomes a very intimate experimental relationship for both parties. This experimenting forces Robby to face the feelings he has had for his childhood friend all along.
This film is cute, quirky, engaging and easy to watch; however there are many aspects that can be critiqued by any observant viewer. There are many blatant stereotypes due to the intersectionality of many of the characters, notably their class, gender and race (Aulette, 7). For example, the white, high class male is the marine, whereas the lower class white male works as an auto mechanic in a local car shop. Furthermore, the young, beautiful, rich, white girl does not work, nor does her mother, where as the father is a well-known politician who is overly concerned with his image. These kinds of reoccurring stereotypes force the viewer to have pattern recognition for the static stereotypical characters that occur in many tradition and modern films.
However, despite the tiresome stereotypes of the characters that appear over and over again throughout the film, there are many interesting aspects as well. One conversation between Ricky and Robby addresses sexual orientation (Aulette, 110), specifically what is technically ‘gay sex’ and what is ‘straight sex’. This conversation forces the audience to think critically about his or her own beliefs regarding the nature of intimate relations and the importance of labeling these kinds of relationships. Moreover, Ricky’s character forces the reader to reject binary thinking regarding human sexuality and sexual orientation, expression and identity. Ricky looks like a girl, but has not yet had the full sex change operation; despite this, men are attracted to her even when they discover her unexpected parts. There are other moments throughout the film where any binary thoughts must be rejected in order to accept Ricky’s life style and choices. This type of criticism on society is important considering the current positive evolution of society’s view on sexuality.
Overall, the film looks as many controversial ideas that must be
critiqued and discussed in today’s morphing society. Human sexuality is no longer a two way street. For those whose sexuality and all that it encompasses (including sexual orientation, expression, and biological sex) is not black or white, it can truly be a complicated topic to understand internally, and to express externally, while hoping for acceptance from those around them. It is a good film, but very open for critical analysis.
Critical Analysis of One Scene
The scene I have chosen to critically analyse is the scene during which Francesca tells her fiancée that Ricky is a transgendered girl. This scene, and the one that follows emphasizes the difficulties the any queer person many encounter due to the nature of their sexuality. In this scene, Francesca’s fiancée becomes very disgusted and outraged that Francesca is spending time with a transgendered girl. Causing a scene at a white, high-class politician’s party, Francesca’s father comes over to quiet his future son in law. At first, the audience may seem thrilled that the man is defending Ricky’s sexuality, but the following scene shows Francesca’s mother attacking Ricky at work the following day, and asking her to stay away from her daughter simply because of her choices regarding her gender and gender expression. This scene emphasizes the societal conflicts regarding queer individuals and highlights the narrow mindedness of the general public. Ricky does absolutely nothing wrong, in fact she is even praised earlier for the original dress she made for Francesca, yet Francesca’s family still rejects her. Society in general often fears what is unknown or abnormal, such as Ricky being a transgender girl.
One strikingly harsh line is when Francesca’s fiancée says he is fighting for his country as a marine, not an “America for those freaks” (freaks referring to Ricky). Not only does he consider Ricky to be a freak, but he believes she has no place in their country.
I personally was disgusted by the rejection of Ricky solely based on her sexuality; before they discovered her secret, they were very accepting and excited for Francesca to have made such a nice friend. I believe that it is moments like this that will force viewers to engage in conversations about human sexuality, and what should be accepted in our modern society.
I personally really enjoyed attending the festival. I was impressed to see the amount of diversity of the ages of attending audience members, however, the majority was young adults. Furthermore, there was a very positive way in which the festival was organized: they apologized when things were running late, had a raffle before each film, and made each film’s introduction very engaging. I enjoyed both the film on which I wrote my review, and another I saw for my own personal pleasure.
I am also very excited to see the progress of our culture, in which we can openly have film festival solely based on private, queer films, and have the entire community accept and promote this festival. I think it is definitely a step in the right direction to becoming a society that is open and accepting of all people, no matter what race, gender, or sexuality they may be.
Aulette, Judy Root and Judith Wittner. Gendered Worlds (Third Edition).
New York: Oxford University Press. 2015. Print.