Kinky Boots
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Charlie Price (Joel Edgerton) grew up in the small British town of Northampton, where his father ran a successful men’s shoe company. Charlie’s life always revolved around shoes—until he and his fiancé, Nicola (Jemima Rooper), decided to move away from Northampton and its shoes and start a life of their own.

Unfortunately, their new life doesn’t last long. Charlie’s father dies suddenly, leaving Charlie to run the family business—which, he quickly finds out, wasn’t nearly as successful as he thought it was. With all the cheap products out there, no one seems to be in the market for sturdy, well-made shoes. The only thing Charlie can do is start laying off the employees that his father supported for years. In the process, one of his former employees, Lauren (Sarah-Jane Potts), suggests that the business isn’t out of his control—that he can find a way to keep the business running. All he has to do is find a niche.

Charlie stumbles upon his niche one night, when he crosses paths with a drag queen named Lola (Chiwetel Ejiofor), who complains to him that no one ever makes good stilettos for men. Suddenly, it makes perfect sense—if Price Shoes can start making stilettos for transvestites, they could just return to the success that they once had. So, with the help of Lauren and Lola, Charlie begins to set his plan into place. But there’s one big problem: the people of Northampton aren’t the most open-minded of people, and they don’t react well to Lola—or to the kinky boots that they’re expected to make. Somehow, though, Charlie has to pull his employees together in time for the big shoe show in Milan—or it may be the end of Price Shoes.

Kinky Boots is a fabulous British comedy about doing what it takes—even if it ruffles a few feathers. It’s quite similar to Calendar Girls—which could have something to do with the fact that writer Tim Firth worked on both films. In both, the subject matter is a bit risqué, but the movie really isn’t at all. You might think that a movie about older women posing naked for a fund-raising calendar might be a little risqué—but the film only hints at it. Similarly, the only thing that’s truly kinky in this movie about a drag queen helping to design a line of boots for transvestites is its title. It’s not over-the-top, the way it probably would have been, had it been a big Hollywood picture. But it’s not really a movie about drag queens. It’s a movie about one man trying to save his family business and another man trying to be accepted in a small town that sees him only as different. The story isn’t outrageous, nor is the humor. Instead, it’s subtle, and it’s funny, and it works. I highly recommend it.

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