Who's in It:
Felicity Huffman, Kevin Zegers, Fionnula Flanagan
The Basics: A pre-op transgender woman named Bree (Huffman) meets the son she never knew she fathered back when she was of a mind to do that sort of thing.
What's the Deal? First of all, road-trip movies in which everyone discovers How to Care are not what I wanted from Santa. But road-trip it they do this mom who's actually a dad and son who's actually a druggie teen prostitute. And though they do learn How to Care, they do it in a way that's not full of crap, resisting that barfy hugs-all-around impulse. Total relief there. I saw To Wong Foo once already and didn't feel much like seeing the trans-saints win over the lunkheaded bigots again.
What Does Happen to This Movie's Lunkheaded Bigots: They just get ignored by Huffman's character, who wants to be left in peace to get her surgery. The biggest lunkhead is the character of Huffman's mother, way overplayed by Fionnula Flanagan.
Very Convincing as a Woman: The casting of Huffman was a really cool move here, because instead of weirding out about how much a guy could be made to look like a woman, you're weirding out because she's a woman pretending to be a man who's a woman. I know, Victor/Victoria sort of did it first. Totally different thing here.
How She's Like That Guy on Little Britain: Much like the bad transvestite Emily Howard on BBC America's sketch-comedy show, Bree is jonesing to be an old-fashioned "lady," and when she meets some trans-activists, she gets especially priggish about it. Watch for a cameo by Calpernia Addams, the transgender woman whose life was the inspiration for the movie Soldier's Girl.