Kinky Boots
Where’s the rest of the woman I ordered?

Theatrical Release Date: 10/07/2005 (UK), 04/14/2006 (USA)
Director: Julian Jarrold
Cast: Joel Edgerton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sarah-Jane Potts

This latest film review is for “ladies, gentlemen and those of you who have yet to make up your mind.”

As should come as no surprise to my loyal readers, I have made sure to catch yet another film involving transvestites. This time, the lucky film was “Kinky Boots”.

An audience favorite in its native England, this little gem has landed stateside and I wish American moviemakers would take some notes.

While I did have a small problem with the pacing of the film and I thought it tried to tackle too many things in too little time, what “Kinky Boots” may lack in script revision, it more than makes up for in heart.

I found myself grinning like an idiot more than a few times and became very invested in all of the characters. I daresay that I even found myself to be a bit giddy and the saddest feeling I had was watching the credits roll because the film created a world that felt very much like a nice place to live.

I know, I’m a sap. I can’t help it. This film made me use what little portion of my heart isn’t clogged with cholesterol or withered by my usual cynicism.

Helping it find that little bit of my chest cavity is the wonderful cast. Joel Edgerton plays the owner of the shoe factory looking to change its product line to survive and Sarah-Jane Potts is one of the employees and essentially his own pixyish cheerleader. Together they create a very likable romantic duo. You really can’t help but hope they can get together in the end.

While all of the other actors who work at the shoe factory are great, my own personal favorite has to be Nick Frost, who you may remember more as the lazy best friend in “Shaun of the Dead”. His comic talents aren’t wasted here and he also shows an aptitude for the dramatic arts as well.

Of course, the film is about a once-reserved shoe factory branching into shoes for women who are men so casting the character that will provide the inspiration for Edgerton and pals has to be just right. Enter Chiwetel Ejiofor.

You actually pronounce his name “chew-it-tell edge-oh-for” and tongue twisters aside, he continues to prove himself in the acting world and is quickly rising to the top of my favorite actors list. After his remarkable breakthrough performance in “Dirty Pretty Things” and a surprisingly convincing role in the so-so “Serenity”, he really captures the role of “Lola/Simon” in “Kinky Boots”.

There’s an inner strength this character demands that has to be equally countered by vulnerability in order for Lola to be truly three dimensional and fully developed. Ejiofor is able to provide that with remarkable acuity.

As this film was actually a 2005 release, you won’t see him in my 2006 awards list but I think he would have been a near miss for a top five performance of last year if I wasn’t too lazy to redo it.

In short, if you are looking for a feel-good film full of quality performances and/or need a break from the first few summer blockbusters, check out “Kinky Boots.” I’m giving it a 3 out of 5 and will keep pretending I don’t know the psychological reasons behind my love of films involving transvestites and transsexuals. Now what shoes go with these jeans?