Sunday, December 18, 2005

Stoners, Transsexuals, Dreamers

1. The Family Stone sucks.

2. Transamerica doesn't. It's simpler, shallower, and funnier than you'd think. Felicity Huffman deserves the plaudits -- the role of Bree Osborne is an actor's dream: Huffman, a woman, plays a man who is becoming a fully transgendered woman. Fine. One question: Why wasn't a biological male cast? The Weinstein Co. was "brave" enough to commission the film, but not brave enough to cast it with a transgendered actor? I guess we can fall back on the "gender is a construct" argument. Why shouldn't a biological woman play the part of a biological man living as a woman? But part of me thinks about that transgendered female actor out there who could've made a mark with this once-in-a-lifetime role. Ah well. The movie is cute without being maudlin or depressing, and Huffman is expert enough to keep the whole operation classy. (And Fionnula Flanagan, Elizabeth Peña, Graham Greene, and Burt Young are in it!)

3. The premise of American Dreamz seems better than the trailer, so here's hoping. If there's any two things worth skewering, it's the U.S. government's image and the culture of "American Idol."

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