Different for Girls

It takes a handsome man to make a beautiful woman, and Steven Mackintosh, who plays Kim, the transsexual London greeting-card writer at the center of Different for Girls, is the rare gender-bending performer who is neither gaudy nor comic but gently, quietly sexy. With her demure skirts, short blond office-ready ‘do, and thin-lipped smile of hope that she’ll ”pass,” Kim doesn’t impose herself upon the world; her greatest desire is simply to blend in. Then she meets Prentice (Rupert Graves), a punky but sweet motorbike messenger who was a classmate 17 years earlier. The two begin to hang around together for no discernible reason other than that the movie is out to create a ”quirky” fairy-tale love match. When the big seduction scene finally arrives, it’s hard to deny the shock value (no, Mackintosh’s breasts aren’t real, but they’re an incredible simulation), yet the storytelling has so little imaginative energy that only then does it become clear you’ve been watching a kind of featherweight knockoff of The Crying Game. Kim wears her poker-faced moroseness like a halo. The film treats her with utter, gracious respect but forgets to make her interesting. C+

Different for Girls
  • Movie