It's A Boy Girl Thing
Review by Jack Foley
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Making Of Featurette; Theatrical Trailer; Icon Films Trailer Reel.
ONE has to feel sorry for emerging Canadian actor Kevin Zegers, who seems to be stumbling from one gender confused film to the next.
Having made a strong impression playing the son of Felicity Huffman’s transexual in TransAmerica, he now finds himself trapped in the body of a woman in It’s A Boy Girl Thing, a hopelessly inept romantic comedy from executive producer Sir Elton John.
Zegers and co-star Samaire Armstrong are the best things about this unrewarding experience that seems otherwise content to go through the motions for this kind of thing.
They play neighbours Nell (Armstrong) and Woody (Zegers) who have loathed each other since childhood. She’s a feisty bookworm hoping for a place at Yale, while he’s the college quarterback on the verge of a much sought-after scholarship.
When the two get into their umpteenth argument during a school museum trip they become enveloped in a mysterious mist from an ancient statue and subsequently wake up the next day to find that they’ve switched bodies.
Desperate to reverse the curse, the bickering duo must work together to preserve their goals and wind up falling in love in the process.
Nick Hurran’s movie borrows heavily from countless body-swap comedies (Vice Versa, Freaky Friday) but seems more content to fixate on crass, obvious jokes rather than bringing anything new to the genre.
Hence, viewers are forced to endure countless morning erection jokes and fart gags than is strictly necessary instead of really getting to know the characters.
That Zegers and Armstrong emerge with any credit at all is down to their skill as performers, as both do sterling work against the odds.
Armstrong, in particular, provides a feisty presence as Nell, displaying a keen eye for her male character traits as well as a willingness to enter into the spirit of proceedings.
And Zegers also gives rise to the odd chuckle as he tackles the complications of female hormones.
As watchable as both leads are, however, they’re constantly defeated by a dumbed down screenplay and some truly annoying supporting characters.
Sharon Osbourne, in particular, is just plain embarrassing as Woody’s foul-mouthed mother who attempts to secure most of her laughs from spouting the F-word and its variations. Since when did such low-brown ‘entertainment’ qualify as a 12 certificate?
But another of It’s A Boy Girl Thing‘s failings lies in its inability to know what audience to cater for. At heart, it’s a hopelessly sweet rom-com aimed at really young viewers even though much of its ‘comedy’ is primed for teens aged 15 and above.
The result is a cringe-worthy experience that wastes both the good work of its leads and the good faith of any audience.
Running time: 95mins