Kinky Boots (2005)—British
Like its off-beat predecessor Calendar Girls, this comedy will not appeal to everyone, but I thought it was one of those rare films that was both hilarious and poignant. When his father dies, much to his chagrin Charlie Price inherits the family's 100-year old shoe factory. Foreign imports and changing styles have pushed the Price factory to the brink of insolvency, until Charlie's chance encounter with the drag queen "Lola." Whereas over the previous hundred years they had made "a range of shoes for men," they switch to making "shoes for a range of men," more specifically, shoes "for women that are men." An unlikely friendship develops between Charlie and Lola, each of whom struggles with their own unique loneliness. With Lola consulting, the blue collar factory workers of Northampton learn about London fashion, and to their credit retool their factory with gusto to storm the Milan shoe show with their sturdy stilettos. The DVD blurb advises that the film is "inspired by a true story." Rated PG-13.