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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

How Do Relationships Change? A Review of Transamerica

Terry Lee

Transamerica is a 2005 American film.  The cast includes Felicity Huffman as Bree, and Kevin Zegers as Toby.  The film tells the story of Bree, a transsexual woman, who goes on a road trip with her long-lost son, Toby.
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Bree is a man, but he wants to be a woman.  He has worked long and hard to save enough money to have sex reassignment surgery.  However, he received a phone call from his long-lost son the day just before his surgery.  His son, Toby, had been arrested by the police for prostituting himself.  Because his doctor suggested that he straighten out his relationship with his son before the surgery, Bree has no choice but to solve a series of problems.

The most meaningful aspect of this movie is that it is filled with complex and unusual relationships.  Bree pretends to be a social worker to get Toby out of prison.  After that, they start their journey to California, where Bree wants to have his surgery and Toby wants to become a movie star.  Toby gradually starts to like Bree, but he doesn’t know that Bree is really his father.  Therefore, Toby is very confused.  When he finds out that Bree is his father, he can’t accept the truth initially.

The most impressive scene is when Toby prostitutes himself for money because he feels sorry when someone steals their car.  Although I think we all know that this action is definitely wrong, Toby had a miserable childhood and left home when he was young.  Without experiencing normal life and receiving an education, prostituting himself for money seems reasonable to him.

This movie is very special.  Although Bree is a man, he thinks that he is not a man at all.  Bree has to face his son, but he is a woman already.  Transsexuals are very special in our society.  They may be discriminated against by friends, colleagues, even family.  They are very brave because they persist in being who they really want to be.  This movie touched me a lot, so I strongly recommend it to FCU English Online readers.

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