Watch this movie, people! Watch it!
As a fan of gender swapping fiction, I have seen and read movie after movie and book after book. So, it’s pretty rare that I come upon a swap story that offers anything new. Mostly, they can do something better, or come up with a different voice, tone or manner of presentation. But most of them, especially if they fall into the more specific “freaky friday” mode, will pretty much just run through a series of the same beats.
Inside You does do that a little, but even when it’s running along the same beats, the writer direction Heather Fink, a student at NYU film school, often manages to find ways to ground the story in contemporary gender-wobbled reality, with behaviors and experiences rooted in the characters.
Wait. Did I forget to run through the basic story? Stephanie and Ryan live together and have dated for years. Their relationship has stagnated. Then, they switch bodies. Now, Stephanie was, like many young, modern women, all about wearing comfortable clothes, so when Ryan finds himself in her body, there is no sudden need for him to start wearing stiletto heels and mini-skirts. However, he does get curious, and since he is trapped in her body anyway, he spends a day playing dress up and giving himself make-overs. it’s exploration that he now feels free to do, and that sense of exploration does not stop with clothes.
This movie delves frankly into sex issues, with some fun role reversal. For example, Stephanie really want to know what it feels like to get a blow job, and now that Ryan is the girl she wants him to do it. Ryan is not totally into the idea, and we then get to see play out what happens all the time anyway; the guy pressures the girl for oral sex, and she is not cool with it. Eventually, Ryan gives in because he feels it will save the relationship, leading to a very funny scene. Then, he turns the tables insisting that Stephanie pleasure him in return.
It’s this willingness to look at relationship and how they each end up doing things to please the other that allows this movie to stand out from the crowd. In addition, Fink has some fun and interesting ideas concerning what to do with a camera, and she uses the camera well to tell the story.
Now, this film was made with 30,000 dollars, and there are some limits visible and audible in terms of the production. However, watch it. Just watch it. This movie is all about the story, and it really doesn’t matter if it looks perfect or not, because it has heart!