Decent script by Raul Fernandez turns done-to-death premise into an engaging time-filler aimed at a young teen audience. Originally titled “Boys Will Be Girls,” it could be a lot worse.
High school student Chris Calder (Corey Haim) is having trouble with class bully Kurt Stark (Cameron Bancroft). Helping his older sister (Johannah Newmark) shop for clothes one day, Calder hides from Stark by slipping into a dress and mannequin’s wig. It works, and before long, Calder is forced to dress as a girl virtually full-time.
Hijinks ensue. Before long, Calder has fallen in love with Stark’s sister Marie (Nicole Eggert), who thinks he’s a girl. Meanwhile, Kurt has fallen for “Christie.”
As the film heads for its happy conclusion, Chris’ parents (Kevin McNulty, Wendy Van Reissen) think he’s gay, the girls gym coach (Rachel Hayward) is convinced he’s a transvestite, Marie thinks “Christie” is a lesbian, and “Christie” has Kurt doubting his own sexuality.
By the end of the two hours, Kurt has learned a lot about being a sensitive man from “Christie.”
Nobody in real life would accept “Christie” as female for one minute, and other aspects of the film are equally broadly drawn, but at least it keeps its interior logic. A subplot involving Chris’ aspiring to a big-deal music magnet school fizzles along the way and then reappears just in time for a production-number ending.
No-name cast and Vancouver locations keep the budget down, and a couple of Canadian accents pop through, but everything’s good enough for the film’s less-than-lofty ambitions. Haim’s OK as what looks like the oldest high school student outside the 90210 ZIP code. Eggert is cute, and Bancroft’s switch from heavy to Alan Alda is nicely handled.
There are a few good lines, as when Chris’ father is convinced that Chris is gay: “It’s all your fault,” he tells his wife. “You wouldn’t let him play with guns.”