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Karl Foyle (Steven Mackintosh) and Paul Prentice (Rupert Graves) were best mates at school in the seventies. But now, when they meet by chance in London, things are definitely not the same. Karl is now Kim, who has developed a brand new life (among other things) as a woman working as a verse writer for a greeting card company. Paul is a fun-loving larrikin, who is trying to find himself; he is currently working as a motorbike courier, taking out Angela, one of the girls in the office (Nisha K. Nayar). Despite Paulís initial reservations, he and Kim renew their friendship, both trying to establish on what level it is based. When Paul is at a loss as to how to handle his vaguely defined attraction to Kim, he makes a public scene and both of them end up in court. Desperately trying to lead an inconspicuous life, Kim goes to her sister Jeanís home at the army base, but Jean (Saskia Reeves) has family problems of her own. Kim has to decide whether or not to risk everything she has worked for and reveal her sexuality, to protect Paul in court. And what of Paul? How does he now feel about his former school mate, who is now a woman? And about himself?

"In many ways, Different for Girls is like a conventional love story: boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back. But the crucial things that are different make this anything but a conventional film. First of all, the trans-sexuality of the girl is handled with eloquent sensitivity, and acted with extraordinary poise. Mackintosh is not a real trans-sexual, but I only know that from the production notes. I left the screening sure that s/he was. Secondly, the boy knew the girl at boysí school. He even stood up for the then him when bullies teased him for being a "pervert". This short scene early in the film is crucial to show the underlying decency which allows Paul to change into the man he is by the time he has worked himself out viz Kim, some years later. In between times, Paul exercises his rough and tumble macho side; and by the time they get to ride off into the sunset, Kim is riding a matching, flame red motorbike, because she has rediscovered her own macho side. The script is full of these marvellously accurate human observations about our complexity; in a way, this is a good book-end film to Chasing Amy, where sexuality is not necessarily a boundary but new terrain for exploration. I also like the subtle way Jeanís Ďnormalí relationship is contrasted with Paulís, and the way the Ďnormalí policeman tries to physically abuse Kim in the back of the police van. These people think they are Ďnormalí, yet Kimís humanity is far more positive and humanistic than their normality. Gifted filmmaking, this, robust, funny, sensuous, sensitive, and emotionally exciting."
Andrew L. Urban

"A well-written, insightful script delivered by honest performances brings a thought-provoking film about finding and being comfortable with oneís self. There are some sharp, witty lines and funny scenes, especially in the workplace, but ultimately this is a poignant film, achingly real in its portrayal of emotions as well as a fascinating insight into the lonely world of the trans-sexual. The action takes place in three very different settings: Kimís conservative, tidy, organised world; Paulís dishevelled, raucous environment; the strict routine of the army barracks where Jean and her family live. Steven Mackintosh as Kim, gives a wonderfully sensitive and understated performance, with attention to detail in every nuance. By contrast, Rupert Gravesí Paul is blatantly open with his every emotion, totally exposing his every inhibition and doubt like a mirror. He is a blokey sort of bloke, a larrikin at heart, who never seems to find his way. He is trying desperately to find comfortable ground on which to form the basis of his relationship with Kim. While on the surface, it may appear to be Kim who is the lost soul, in truth Kim has faced her major life decisions and is comfortable about who she is. Paul embarks on the journey of discovery when he meets Kim. But everyone has his own cross to bear; the conventionally Ďnormalí relationship of Jean and her husband has its own burdens. And who has the hang ups, anyway?"
Louise Keller

"Different for Girls is the most unconventional of love stories, a daring and provocative tale bittersweet and unique in its exploration of friendship and sexuality. The film works through some quite astonishing performances by Steven Mackintosh as Karl/Kim, who passes himself off perfectly as the transsexual coming to terms with his new found identity. Rupert Graves, another fine actor growing from strength to strength, gives credibility and depth to Prentice. It's not an easy film, and some find the climatic love scene between the two difficult. The whole film has been handled with sensitivity, intelligence and good humour, so that Different for Girls emerges as a beautifully executed and poignant film featuring some extraordinary performances."
Paul Fischer

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CAST: Steven Mackintosh, Rupert Graves, Miriam Margolyes, Saskia Reeves, Charlotte Coleman, Neil Dudgeon, Nisha K. Nayar

DIRECTOR: Richard Spence

PRODUCER: John Chapman

SCRIPT: Tony Marchant


EDITOR: David Gamble

MUSIC: Stephen Warbeck


RUNNING TIME: 100 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: August 7, 1997 (Sydney); August 21, (Perth);
September 4: Adelaide
October 2, (ACT, Brisbane)

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