Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]
‘Kinky Boots’ has sole – and plenty of them
If “Brokeback Mountain” is the LGBT community’s powerful, big screen drama and “Transamerica” is our warm and introspective “road picture,” then the upcoming film “Kinky Boots,” which opens April 28 at the Main Art Theatre in Royal Oak, must certainly be our long-awaited “feel-good” flick of the year!
Why? Because that’s exactly how this British comedy will make you feel – even with its oh-so-predictable – but totally fun – ending.
Based on a true story, Charlie (played by Joel Edgerton) and Simon (Chiwetel Ejiofor) are two fish out of water – but for entirely different reasons – who join forces to save the shoe factory that’s been in Charlie’s family for generations.
Charlie returns home to the town of Northampton following the sudden death of his father. It’s expected that he’s to take over the family business – a prospect that doesn’t please either Charlie or his fiancee, Nicola (Jemima Rooper), as both were more than happy to flee the small town a few years earlier. However, since Charlie feels a responsibility towards the company’s longtime, family-like employees, he decides to stay and run the company – despite a lack of interest in the product and the managerial skills to do so.
But with foreign knockouts and cheap labor muscling in to the marketplace, building and selling high-quality “sturdy shoes” is not the profitable business it used to be. So how to save the failing company becomes Charlie’s main priority.
The answer comes to Charlie one night in a dark alley when he saves Simon, a local drag star named Lola, from a group of men who don’t particularly care for female impersonators. Lola, it seems, designs everything for her elaborate shows – and since every drag queen and transvestite needs a good pair (or twelve) of well-built and really hot boots, Charlie asks Lola to be the designer of his new line of footwear “for a range of men.”
Lola, of course, feels as comfortable among the blue collar workers in the factory as Charlie does in a gay bar, but the two work well together until the pressure of the moment threatens to derail their line’s unveiling at a major shoe show in Milan, Italy.
Since this a light and fluffy comedy, you pretty much know how this film is going to end. But that really doesn’t matter, since screenwriters Tim Firth and Geoff Deane have gone to great lengths to create a bubbly, fun and not very deep film right from the start. So how can you expect anything else?
Everyone in “Kinky Boots” gives a top-notch performance, but it’s the very tall, very muscular and extremely talented Chiwetel Ejiofor – pronounced “chew-it-tell edge-oh-for” – who kicks the flick into high gear every time he’s on screen. His Lola is no stereotypical drag queen; rather, she’s a fully realized character whom the actor fills with equal amounts of soul and sass. And wait till you see Lola kick ass on stage! This is one drag performer who doesn’t lip-synch her way into local stardom – it’s the real thing!