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Girls Will Be Girls
cast: Jack Plotnick, Clinton Leupp, Jeffery Roberson, Ron Mathews, and Eric Stonestreet

writer and director: Richard Day

79 minutes (18) 2003
widescreen ratio 1.85:1
TLA DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 7/10
reviewed by James A. Stewart
It is entirely appropriate that a film like Girls Will Be Girls should have been released in the midst of the British panto season. Here we have the story of three actresses, all with varying degrees of success, going through life trying to find luck in love - with the help of booze in some cases. The catch? Men play them all, and not the way men played women in Priscilla: Queen of the Desert. Now, this isn't as bad as you would think. Director Richard Day does a sterling job of treating the cast as females and the paradox of men playing women is not played upon, as you would think. However, it can feel a bit like the ugly sisters hit Hollywood.

The real charm of Girls Will Be Girls is how the actors stand-up to the backstabbing, love scenes and generally all round femininity of their roles. Evie (Jack Plotnick) is a sarcastic 'bitch' that delivers one-liners and abuse with caustic vitriol. The main recipient of the not aging gracefully Evie's abuse, is her flatmate, Coco - played by Clinton Leupp. There are times when Evie's tirades at Coco can have you hating her, and that in of itself is a credit to Plotnick's portrayal.

The third protagonist is Varla, daughter of Evie's grand rival from days gone by, Marla (both played by Jeffery Robertson). This alone is cause for consternation and conflict, as are the advances of Evie's inadequate son Stevie on Varla. To find out what is inadequate about Stevie you really need to watch the film. Ron Mathews is fine as Stevie but you can't help wondering if a woman should have played his part; just to balance things out.

You may have already cottoned onto the linkage in the names, Evie and Stevie, Varla and Marla; but Day does a great job of bringing out the personality in each character so as to avoid any confusion. There are egos galore and BBC viewers will see a lot of 'Ab-Fab' in some the humour. Additionally, some of the witticisms are cringe worthy in a funny way. Evie's rampant lust for men and re-igniting her career are some of the highlights of the film, as is the Coco's longing for her abortion doctor. For crying out loud, who has an abortion doctor?

This is certainly one worth watching. Girls Will Be Girls is funny, a tad melodramatic at times and a nice length at just over an hour and a quarter. Any more than that and it would be in danger of overstaying its welcome. The guys do a great job as the girls and in many ways make the potentially unworkable concept of guys playing straight female roles entirely workable.

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