By Caren Weiner Campbell
Updated May 19, 1995 at 04:00 AM EDT

No, The Sex of the Stars is not a celebrity T&A-fest. It’s a quiet, sympathetic Canadian drama about an astronomy-loving girl (Marianne-Coquelicot Mercier) whose beloved, long-absent father (Denis Mercier, no relation) finally returns — as a woman. Much to his credit, director Paule Baillargeon does not mine this provocative premise for laughs; instead, he uses it as a foil for all the prepubescent heroine’s sexual confusion and yearning. And boy, does she yearn; as her soulful expression deepens in each frame, and as the dialogue becomes tinged with self-consciousness, the film teeters on the brink of melodrama. It’s saved, fortunately, by the cast’s evident respect for their lonely, confused characters’ search for love and acceptance. B