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be warned . .
brit love story in the offing .
effeminate , mild-mannered karl is about to take a beatng from a bunch of ruffians at school as he bathes himself under a shower , his genitals tucked between his legs in the manner of a posing transvestite .
he is only just saved by prentice , who appears in all respects barring his protective attitude towards karl to be your average street-wise punk-in-the-making .
the ensuing scene ends up with both boys being ridiculed and then unfairly expelled from the school .
they do not see each other for another eighteen yeas .
in that time , prentice has matured into a somewhat loveable , if brash and bull-heaed goon who screws up his jobs and relationships while gamely clinging onto perennial adolescence via lether jackets , motorcycles and punk rock music .
karl , on the other hand , has grown up to become kim , a drabby , insecure woman who works as a verse writer for a greeting card company .
chance brings the two together , and love , such as will inevitably blossom in your quirky british romantic comedy , is what this skewed little story is largely about .
if at this point you think you're going to get any cheap laughs with that gender-bending theme ( see the birdcage , to wong foo . . . , priscilla queen of the desert ) , you can just go home and brood on your own maladjusted sexuality you low-life deadbeat .
kim is a post-operative transsexual , thank you very much . . .
a new-born woman for all purposes , with confusions and sensitivities that deserve treatment with a touch of delicacy .
personally , give me those cheap laughs any day .
i'd rather enjoy obvious camp than endure the shallow exploration of a soft- hearted transsexual love story .
different for girls comes up with a promising enough proposition , but does nothing that surpasses the merely workmanlike with it .
by refusing to make the audience really uncomfortable with the notion of kim and prentice's relation- ship , or at the very least feel uncomfortable for them ( prentice for example , doesn't seem to give hiself all that much grief when he becomes attracted to kim despite being a fight-picking , beer-drinking , macho kind of guy , and kim , for all her insecurities and fears is always saved any truly disturbing victimisation in the film ) , and instead drawing them into a basically wimpy love story , the film manages to lobotomise itself .
lightweight comedy as it's doomed to be , it could've still have hacked it with the requisitive endearing couple .
but this doesn't either , since even mrs doubtfire is sexier than steven mackintosh's kim foyle , and as either sex , he's just plainly a simpering wanker nobody should like .
prentice does though , and that's never explained .
but then rupert graves gives us so heroic performance as prentice , the guy who never grew up ( and if there is a bafta prize for most convincing portrayal of a rabid fan at a buzzcocks' concert , he should win that too ) that i guess there's no reason to explain why he's so screwed up .
if oddly enough you grow to like this show , you'll be wanting your happy ending , and the film won't fail you there either .
snide underling at kim's office gets her come-uppance .
misogynistic police officer who beats up prentice gets his come-uppance .
the couple prevail against a disagreeable society and come together in kim's apartment .
kim's sister and her impotent sarge-type husband kiss and make up after a tiff ( tv movie sub-plot with incidental juxtaposition ) .
and best of all , kim sheds her insecurities and learns how to ride the motorcycle and wear leathers , making prentice ride pilion .
awwww .
terrific closure .
happy ending .
but just what is it that's differnt for girls anyway ?
if you figure that one out , let me know .
the flying inkpot rating system : * wait for the tv2 broadcast .
* * a little creaky , but still better than staying at home with gotcha !
* * * pretty good , bring a friend .
* * * * amazing , potent stuff .
* * * * * perfection .
see it twice .