Different For Girls

on September 12, 1997 by Shlomo Schwartzberg
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Steven Mackintosh is excellent as Kim, nee Karl, a transsexual whose orderly life is upset when she meets Paul, an old schoolmate and protector ("Intimate Relations'" Rupert Graves) whom she's always fancied. But "Different for Girls" doesn't know how to handle Mackintosh's character; its potentially fascinating story arc of Kim's path through conservative society is never properly developed.
   The film is also contrived; having Paul, a charming but aimless slob, display a sexual interest in the proper, anal-to-a-fault Kim is just not believable. Neither is a situation that sees Paul arrested and Kim debating whether to testify for him--and risk everyone learning about her private life. The shaky relationship between Kim and her sister ("Butterfly Kiss'" Saskia Reeves), who has problems of her own, is another non-starter. Bland and conventional, despite the sex-change angle, "Different for Girls" is ultimately not different enough. Starring Steven Mackintosh, Rupert Graves and Saskia Reeves. Directed by Richard Spence. Written by Tony Marchant. Produced by John Chapman. A First Look release. Drama. Rated R for nudity, brief graphic sexuality and strong language. Running time: 97 min. Won the Grand Prix of the Americas for Best Film at the Montreal fest
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