Reeling review: 'Boy Meets Girl'

Thu. September 18, 2014 9:28 AM by News Staff

michael welch and michelle hendley star in 'boy meets girl'

'Boy Meets Girl' Sept. 18, 2014, 7:30 p.m., Music Box Theater

There is much to admire about straight writer/director Eric Schaeffer's new film Boy Meets Girl. First, the film's lead character, pre-op transgender female Ricky, is portrayed by transgender actress Michelle Hendley, making her film debut. As if that wasn't enough, Schaeffer gets one of the most riveting and unforgettable performances out of Hendley, making it a debut with promise and resonance.

Ricky, "born in the wrong body and the wrong town," lives at home in Kentucky with her father and younger brother Sam, while she takes hormones and waits to find out if she's been accepted to the Fashion Institute in New York. She's an aspiring fashion designer and a waitress at a coffeehouse. Her best friend, straight Robby (Michael Welch), has been her champion and defender since they were kids.

Everything in Ricky's world is upended when local rich girl (and politician's daughter) Francesca (Alexandra Turshen) comes in for a beverage. The two young women strike up a fast friendship, leading to Ricky telling Francesca about herself by text – while Francesca is sitting right next to her! It's that kind of intimate detail that separates Boy Meets Girl from the pack.

Boy Meets Girl also turns the traditional romance suggested by the title on its pierced ear. Francesca, who claims to be saving herself for marriage, is engaged to U.S. Marine David (the stunning Michael Galante). However, David and Ricky have enough of a secret history that it infuriates David when he finds out that Felicia and Ricky are socializing. Meanwhile, Ricky and Felicia's relationship is quickly moving beyond the friend stage. This is sure to confuse more than a few people, but it's handled carefully and tastefully, and makes sense in context. Through it all, Robby stands by Ricky, who must also come to terms with his own feelings for Ricky. Smart, sensitive and enlightening on many fronts, audiences from all walks of life would be wise to get acquainted with this film. 

Boy Meets Girl, Sept. 18, 2014, 7:30 p.m., Music Box Theater, 3733 N. Southport Ave.

Reeling: The Chicago International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival opens on Sept. 18 at the Music Box Theater on Southport and runs for a week through Sept. 25. The majority of the Reeling screenings take place at the Landmark Century Cinema in the Century Mall on Clark Street, with others being held at Chicago Filmmakers on Clark St. in Andersonville. Reeling schedule and tickets available at

Related:'s Gregg Shapiro provides a series of reviews of selected titles being screened at Reeling 32: Part One | Part Two | Part Three