Kinky Boots

 
Brit comedy is more warm and quirky than kinky.
  • Review Date: January 30, 2007
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 107 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Despite their obvious differences, Lola and Charlie strike up a warm and close friendship. Lola puts up with a lot of discriminatory and threatening behavior because of her gender presentation, and it makes her depressed. Nicola cheats on Charlie. Charlie kisses Lauren, even though he's engaged to Nicola.

Violence

Men harass and seem to be threatening Lola. Lola, trying to protect herself from the toughs, accidentally hits Charlie in the face with her shoe. Don menaces Lola and writes anti-gay epithets in the factory.

Sex

Lots of talk about boots being "irresistible, tubular sex." Some light kissing between Charlie and Lauren and Charlie and Nicola. Lola, a transvestite and drag queen, flirts with Don. Don yells come-ons to Lola before he knows she's a man. Brief and innocent sexy dancing.

Language

Very little cursing, aside from British slang, like "bugger," "bloddy," and "sod off." Lola says the company may go "tits up." One use of "s--t."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Considerable drinking, mostly of vodka by Lola. There's also drinking of beer in pubs and drinking of champagne.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that a main character in this movie, Lola, is threatened with violence and discriminated against because she's a transvestite and drag queen. Though this film stays light and quirky, it still raises very real questions about how far tolerance and acceptance goes, especially of boys who don't act in a masculine way. Both Charlie and his fiancé Nicola cheat on each other -- though neither has sex. Also, when Lola says she's a transvestite and drag queen, some teens are bound to ask what the difference is.

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What's the story?

Charlie Price (Joel Edgerton) is a small-town guy desperate to escape his father's stodgy shoe factory for the glamour of London. Lola (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is a drag queen constantly on the run from bigoted men and constantly in need of more sturdy footwear. When Charlie's dad dies suddenly, Charlie finds out he's in charge of saving the factory -- but outsourcing of shoe manufacturing has rendered his father's indestructible oxfords unsellable. So Charlie and Lola work together to save the company and produce over-the-knee boots strong enough to hold the weight of an over-six-foot black man. \"Price Shoes has built its past on making a range of men's shoes,\" he says to his staff. \"It only makes sense, going forward, for Price to make shoes for a range of men.\"

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Shoe-lovers, unite! Kinky Boots is about exactly that and a reverence for footwear of all types. Though it doesn't reach Sex and the City heights of shoe obsession, it's still a heartwarming story about how important fashion is in helping feminine people express themselves.

The film could have been a depressing forced march through screeds on bigotry and global trade. But director Julian Jarrold's light touch, and Ejiofor's delicate and sympathetic portrayal of Lola, make it anything but. It's sweet. It's quirky. It has a cheeky sense of humor, and it's imminently watchable.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about gender presentation and discrimination. How are people in your life treated for acting against gender type? Do you make fun of boys for acting feminine or mock girls for being stereotypically masculine? How does Lola deal with it, and how would you deal with it if people ostracized you in a similar way? What examples have you seen in the media of this kind of discrimination?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 30, 2005
DVD release date:September 5, 2006
Cast:Chiwetel Ejiofor, Joel Edgerton, Sarah-Jane Potts
Director:Julian Jarrold
Studio:Miramax
Genre:Comedy
Run time:107 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sexuality

This review of Kinky Boots was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

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  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 7 years old April 9, 2008
age 0+
 

It was so boring

I

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