Wednesday, March 1


I’ve let it happen again. Often when I go a while without blogging, I get so much stuff that I want to mention that it seems like an overwhelming mass and I don’t know what to edit out. So, I guess I’ll just start typing away and see where it takes me.

I’ll start with things having to do with other bloggers. On Sunday, Lisa, LostinTX and I all got together again. We went to see Transamerica and afterward LostinTX had us over to her comfy place for some yummy baked apples and conversation.

I was hoping she’d tell the blogosphere how she made them, because they were incredibly yummy and she made them look so easy to construct. I guess if she doesn’t I’ll have to share it with you after I get a chance to mimic her moves.

This was our second get together since GABE and I have to say that I’m really enjoying their company. As we mentioned while we were together, getting to know people through their blogs is terrific way of finding out who a person really is without the usual smokescreen and bring people together who actually have a great deal in common despite external differences. I haven’t really gotten to know that many people since I moved to Austin. I’m happy to say that is changing, but I’m already bummed that Lisa will be going away for grad school in the fall.

As for the movie, Transamerica, I think we all agreed that it wasn’t what we were expecting it to be. I liked it though. I had been told that it was a movie about someone in the stages of going through gender transformation. I guess I really expected it to be about the whole psychological process of going through a sex change, but it wasn’t.

We joined Bree at a point where those internal issues had mostly been dealt with already. When she actually has her operation it’s anticlimactic, almost beside the point. The movie really is more about the dysfunctional family relationships and the personal struggle for acceptance and respect from ones family members. In this particular case, the person who was struggling for acceptance just happened to be a transsexual.

Unfortunately, the movie was incredibly overdone. The characters were so over the top that none of it was quite realistic or believable. I guess it was suppose to add a comedic element to a serious subject, which it did, but I don't think it was necessary. Also, while Felicity Huffman did a great job on what was no doubt an acting challenge, part of me really wishes that they had cast either a man or a transsexual in the role of Bree, and not a woman.

For those of you that have seen the movie, I’ll mention that I was quite moved by the young man, Toby. He was a particularly good example of some of the kids that I work with in my job and some of the issues that they are struggling to overcome. He just broke my heart.

Well, that’s a least a start on the stuff that’s buzzing around from Sunday. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to pick things up from here later on in the day.


Bearette24 said...

Hmm, well it sounds like the movie was (partially) a flop. I guess it will skip it. I love reading different accounts of the get-together. This is the first I've heard of the yummy apples...

Well said about the smokescreen. For some reason it is much easier to get to know people through their blogs...maybe because you have access to their internal thoughts...and then when you meet in person, it seems so natural.

Lora said...

Actually I quite liked it, although I wouldn't give it highest marks. I reworded things a little bit so that it didn't give the impression that it was a flop.

Lisa said...

You know, I've been thinking. And I think I might disagree with you on a couple things.

I think it was a smart choice to cast a woman because I think it removed a barrier for the audience in believing that the character was living as a woman. I think that if it had been a male actor, I would have been distracted by that fact. Presumably Bree has been living as a woman for a significant time---I think I remember someone saying that you have to wait 10 years to get a gender reassignment surgery---so she's very practiced in how to move like a woman. Or like how she thinks a woman should move. I don't think a male actor could pull that off; there would be too many telltale signs that he wasn't entirely comfortable in a woman's body and a woman's life.

And I really liked that it wasn't about Bree's physical transformation. I think that made it a more universal and accessible movie---that it was more about nature/nuture, identity, vulnerability---things that we all experience. Both Bree and Toby were struggling with letting go what they had grown up as and with being honest about who they are.

I actually really liked the movie, especially the more I think about it. Yes, some of the characters were over the top. The mother could have been brought down about five notches. But I think the movie needed those characters for levity.

Lora said...

But I really did like it!

I agree with you about liking that it wasn't about her physical transformation, but since I hadn't seen any previews and only heard about it word of mouth that's what I went in there expecting it to be about.

I definitely think the over the top characters added levity, but I think it would have been just as good if not better without them being so extreme.

As for the casting of Bree, you make good points and maybe I'm not being realistic, but I would still have liked to see a transsexual or male actor in that role.


Bearette24 said...

I read Trans-sister Radio by Chris Bohjalian back in the day and they didn't make the transsexual wait that long. Maybe he didn't do his research!

Lora said...

I was also under the impression that they make you wait ten years or so. It is not easy to get a sex change operation in America.

LostInTX said...

From what I understand also, you have to have been living your life as the member of the gender sex you want to change to for a period of years (I thought it was 10- I think that's where you got the # Lisa). You can go to another country, such as Canada and the Philipenes and they'll do it much quicker. I firmly believe there should be major counseling and preparation, such as that in the movie. I like Felicity Huffman and I think she did a great job but if she had been living as a woman for X amount of years already then I think she would have mastered some of the characteristics she was trying to overcome. You know, when I see my sister it isn't obvious to me like with other's I've seen. Maybe I'm biased. I liked the relationship between Toby and Bree but I think that I would also have liked to see the personal transformation of Bree (not physical but how she came to know herself as Bree, etc). I think that's something that people don't understand and assume they just woke up one day and said, "Hey! I think I'll be the opposite sex now.."

Catez said...

Hi Lora - I haven't seen the movie. I did wonder about the casting but then in the shorts I saw she looked pretty realistic in the role. They take lots of hormones before the op, and one transexual I talked with a while ago said he was still taking hormones after his op. Maybe they just keep taking them. So it would be hard for a guy to play the role in a way - without the added hormones. Just a few thoughts tossed in from me.