Tuesday, January 10, 2006

"Transamerica" -- The Popsurfing Review

Just checked out "Transamerica," which I'd avoided out of fear of its being too noble. Felicity Huffman of "Desperate Housewives" is indeed very good as Bree, a man who is in the final stages of switching his gender and about to go under the knife. Somehow, Huffman's face looks puffier, thicker and you unquestionably believe her as a woman trapped in a man's body about to become a woman.

The problem? The rest of the movie is melodramatic in the extreme. Isn't switching genders drama enough for one film? Unfortunately, Bree discovers she fathered a son and in the first 20 minutes of the film we discover he's in jail for holding drugs, an exceptionally good looking street hustler, his mom is dead, he hates his step-dad and his dream is to go to LA and be in the movies (not such a crazy dream since he's exceptionally good looking and by "movies" he means "porn").

It goes down from there, though Huffman and Graham Greene in a small role maintain their dignity. It's difficult to tell if Kevin Zegers -- who plays her son -- is talented since he's saddled with so much absurd dialogue. Still, he's certainly come a long way from "Air Bud" -- Canadian Zegers is seen in skimpy underwear, skinny dipping, sleeping with clients or nude a good five or six times throughout the film. Kept my attention, as did the credits: Dolly Parton sang an original tune and it was certainly more entertaining than the last 100 minutes. ** -- two stars out of four.

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