“Boy Meets Girl”; entertaining,educational&inspirational.

Reelout Film Festival was a very educating, entertaining and inspirational experience. Admittedly, attending it was something that started out to be a little nerve-racking- it’s something I don’t know if I would have voluntarily attended- it was new to me and personally, new things are scary to try, as they are for a lot of people. Fortunately, I am so grateful that I had the push and the opportunity to attend this festival because I not only watched a movie that I enjoyed, I experienced a new way of thinking through the film I attended. The movie I saw was “Boy Meets Girl” and I feel I picked a great film. I went in not knowing what to expect and came out with a new understanding as to how certain individuals may feel within their own society. It makes me proud that the community I am a part of is so involved with a festival that promotes being open about and comfortable with your sexuality and gender identity, and I hope everyone has a chance at some point in their life to gain insight into this topic through an entertaining means of delivery as I did.

The film “Boy Meets Girl” follows Ricky, a young transgender woman, and the struggles she faces in everyday life. The film makes it evident how difficult the world is for an individual whose gender varies from their sex and provides a relatable, yet entertaining, story of love, friendship, family and achieving even the most seemingly unachievable goals. “Boy Meets Girl” tries to eliminate the presence of sexual scripts by portraying a strong independent trans woman who is defying the cultural norms within her society. It is often taught to individuals that a man is a man and there are certain masculine characteristics that he must possess, and the same is true for a woman being a woman and possessing certain feminine characteristics; this is the ‘standard story’, but in this film, Ricky rebels against what the socially acceptable way for someone who is born a man to act is. Ricky feels disconnected from what she is biologically assigned at birth and she acts upon this in order to feel more comfortable in her own skin. The film references both power structures, in that Ricky is deemed inferior to those who are not only higher up in society, but also fit what is socially acceptable based on matching sex and gender, and race- white, wealthy people are typically seen as more powerful; as well as sexual binaries by referencing the fact that a lot of people believe that a biologically born male should be with a biologically born female, and this is the only acceptable way to live.

This can all be tied in quite well to the scene where Robby, Ricky’s supportive male best friend, reveals in a fit of frustration that Ricky really isn’t seen by society as truly a woman nor as a man. She is evidently hurt by this revelation, but the shock does not come from the fact that most of the people in her town think this; it comes from the fact that she didn’t think Robby would ever be one to think that way of her. After expressing her pain over the fact that he could ever feel that way about her, Ricky leaves Robby standing alone in her room questioning how he could’ve said something so awful and hurtful to his best friend. That is until Ricky’s younger brother rushes in in a panic, claiming he has to show Robby something really important. They both watch in a state of disbelief a video that Ricky made when she was young revealing how much pain her whole situation has caused her. This is enough to make Robby forget why he was angry and run off to chase after her. When Robby finally finds Ricky, he tells her that he doesn’t believe what everyone else does; he knows that she is a woman and he admits to being in love with her. This scene is important because it touches upon how even the people that you can trust most may have hidden feelings for or about you, and this may be an even more prevalent issue for trans people; they may never truly know how people feel about their decision to exercise their rights to express how they feel on the inside despite what their biological sex tells them.

The movie concludes with the typical, happy, fairytale ending; Ricky has the one that she loves, a family who supports her unconditionally and the opportunity to chase after her dreams. Unfortunately, not all stories end this way in reality. The film paints a nice picture in which the brave, confident trans individual gets basically everything that she could hope for, which doesn’t always happen. Society has preconceived notions of what is right and what is wrong, and often those that don’t fit into this tight little box do not achieve the level of happiness that they as a human being deserve. However, overall, this film did an excellent job at keeping me in a state of enjoyment and interest, while teaching me that there is no one “proper” way for people to act, no matter what society may say.

-mp.

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4 thoughts on ““Boy Meets Girl”; entertaining,educational&inspirational.

  1. Sounds like you had a great overall experience at the festival!

    I appreciate that you’ve pointed out that even though this movie touches upon some very challenging topics and experiences, that in the end it does still follow a relatively normative ‘fairy tale ending’ in many ways. I think that this might be a disservice to the many transgender individuals who haven’t (and will not) experienced the same kind of ‘light at the end of the tunnel’, but rather a continual negotiation of negative tensions in their everyday lives. However, it seems that the film is definitely (as you’ve said) an effective platform for showing that there needs to be more socially accepted pathways and ways of acting and self-identifying.

    It sounds like the scene that you’ve more closely outlined with Robby and Ricky might be one of the main ways that the film begins to showcase the complexity of close personal relationships that transgender individuals navigate in their daily lives (as well as other individuals who don’t fit into the normative categories that society prescribes). Maybe the scene offers some insight both into the pain felt by Ricky, as well as the difficulty that Robby might have reconciling his feelings for Ricky because of the way he knows she is seen by others in society.

    – kt22

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  2. I also saw this movie and completely agree that it was a great film! It’s interesting how Katie mentioned that the standard storyline of the happy ending may have been a disservice. While I understand Katie’s point, I personally felt that the standard storyline (including many of the typical romantic-comedy tropes such as the best friend falling for the main character) made the film incredibly relatable. I think the film did an exceptional job of showcasing the notion that transgender individuals face many of the same relationship complexities that all young adults face.
    At the same time, I think you’ve done an excellent job in analyzing the scenes that portray the everyday difficulties that Ricki faces as a transgendered woman. I too felt that the scene where Robbie shouts that Ricki isn’t a boy or a girl, she’s just “nothing” is incredibly powerful and illustrates the tension that arises when people don’t fit neatly into binary categories.

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  3. Sounds like an interesting movie! I liked the way you defined and described the relevant terms. Although I have not seen the movie from your description, I wonder if the director had an ironic or purposeful fairy tale ending to try and show the similarities between heteronormative relationships and the relationship between Ricky and Robby. Or maybe to show that transgender couples should be able to have the so called fair tale ending? Either way interesting post!

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  4. Great review! The scene that you focused on where we see Robby voice his frustrations and confusion about Ricki’s sexual identity I thought really emphasized the difficult for transgender individuals to be understood by those who are not in the same position. This is shown through Robby who seemingly has been nothing but open minded and supportive throughout the film towards Ricki still struggles to fully understand her journey and sexual identity. This also links to Tiffany’s point about the happy ending and typical romantic comedy plot line making the film more relatable. As a cis-gendered heterosexual individual I feel as though this plot line helped to make the Ricki a more relatable and understandable character.

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