Director: Eric Schaeffer
Writer: Eric Schaeffer
Cast: Michael Galante, Michelle Hendley, and Jean Devereux Koester
The Film Boy meets girl challenges the heteronormative ideals of the archetypal love story portrayed in most romantic films. In turn, the film brings necessary attention to the transgender community.
Michael Welch and Michelle Hendley star alongside each other in this groundbreaking film about the trials of love and relationships in the lives of young adults. Set in a small town in Kentucky Robby (Welch) and his best friend Ricky, (Hendley) a transgender girl are living their lives in hopes to someday make it out of the small town. Then comes along beautiful young girl named Francesca, whose fiancée is on tour in Afghanistan. A relationship ensues between Ricky and Francesca and in turn the viewer is able to see the hegemonic masculine ideas that her fiancée believes so strongly. This relationship serves as an eye opener for Robby and his true feelings for Ricky emerge.
The Film Boy Meets Girl allows the viewer to watch the premise of a basic love story through a completely different lens. The narrative of a stereotypical “boy meets girl” story follows strict gender binaries, never taking into account the possibility of variance with regard to gender roles portrayed in these films. Ricky the female protagonist in the film is a transgender girl who is trying to establish herself and make it to New York City in order to achieve her dreams of being a fashion designer. This film challenges the gender stereotypes associated with the “quintessential romantic” relationships as the main character who ends up finding love is in fact transgender. Throughout the course of the film it truly feels like you are going on the journey with the characters. There is a sense of authenticity and believably with regard to the characters that makes it far easier to relate to their struggles. As a viewer you really become invested with the characters lives as the films underlying themes can be widely related to. For example, Ricky struggles with her identity as a young girl and although puts forth a tough exterior truly wants to be accepted. This can concept is true for so many adolescences in society today. Despite the fact that the logistics of the situation may differ from person to person the notion of acceptance is common to all.
The film touches on the understanding that gender is not simply what your biology denotes. It is how you express yourself, how you identify, and most important it is how you feel most comfortable presenting your self to the world. It is clear that this film comprehends the social construction of gender and how this can be harmful to individuals such as Ricky who do not follow these gender binaries set out by society. For example, when Francesca first meets Ricky she assumes that she is a heterosexual cis gendered female, falling line with the compulsory heterosexuality that is ingrained into our beliefs from a very young age. When Ricky tells Francesca that she is in fact transgender, Francesca is astonished and begins to ask a series of personal questions. As a result of this social construction it is often times too much for individuals to comprehend that there exists individuals who don’t fall under this socially constructed gender binary. Additionally, ideas of gender are not always what society has fashioned them to be. This can be difficult for individuals to perceive, because this idea of male/female heterosexuality is all that was ever discussed for such a long period of time.
This film gave a realistic perspective of the trans experience. It really demonstrated the ups and downs trans people experience. Although being cis gendered, I will never fully understand what that is like, the film allowed for a more well rounded comprehension the kind of struggles trans people go through on a daily basis
There is a scene towards the end of film where Ricky and Robby have fight and in the heat of the moment Robby tells Ricky that she’s “not really anything” (referring to her gender). This scene is particularly heart wrenching because Robby was the one person who she thought she could trust and in that moment he treated her as an aberration. Individuals can empathize and be supportive all they want however, at the end of the day there is no way to understand what she has gone through and must go through on an everyday basis. It illustrates that although society has made significant progress with regard to understanding the complexities of gender there is still ground that needs to be covered. Society must reach a point where thoughts such as these never even cross the minds of individuals.
I wasn’t expecting to enjoy the experience of Reelout as much as I did. I entered into the experience with the pre-conceived notion that it was going to be an environment in which certain views would be heavily promoted with out explanation. Nonetheless, I was proven to be vastly incorrect, as it was very enlightening. I really enjoyed the whole experience and the outpouring of support from the community and the sponsors that I witnessed while in attendance. I believe these types of festivals should be something that are consistently promoted. This festival in particular really opened my eyes to the importance of an understanding the issues some of the films were tackling. Furthermore, once the film started it felt less like obligation and more like enjoyment, something that I was to see for a simple fascination in the film.
Thefilmcollaborative.org,. (2015). Boy Meets Girl. Retrieved 11 February 2015, from