Wednesday 26th January 2022

Kinky Boots (12A)
Directed by: Julian Jarrold
Reviewed by: Paul Fonz

The cold weather is descending upon us, which means the hectic winter release schedule is imminent, with big budget and long-winded titles like Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe soon to appear on the big screen. Before that however, we just have time to take a look at a smaller, home grown release in the shape of Kinky Boots.

The invisible man was the first to try on the new range of boots
The invisible man was the first to try on the new range of boots

Writer Tim Firth (Calendar Girls) is up to his old tricks again, adapting a heart-warming true story that follows a traditional English shoe company from Northampton to Milan as they revitalise their brand. Joel Edgerton leads the cast of people you've barely heard of as Charlie Price, whose dad owns and runs a shoe factory. However, when his old man kicks the bucket, he finds himself running a business that is outdated and struggling to survive in today's competitive market place. The philosophy of providing well-made, long-lasting traditional men's shoes is clearly no longer profitable and rather than make staff redundant or sell the business, Charlie takes a risk. He decides to find a niche market and exploit it.

The market in question, presents itself in the form of Lola the transvestite, who shows Charlie that although women's shoes and boots might have sex appeal, they are not built to withstand the weight of a man. Unfortunately, the workingman's tale of success against the odds is not enough to stand on its own and so a couple of uninspiring but necessary subplots are introduced to pad things out. Lola's storyline shows how hard it is for a transvestite to be accepted into society, even when she is helping save people's jobs, while Charlie is lumbered with a couple of romances despite spending all the hours in the day trying to save his business.

As a comedy, Kinky Boots doesn't really deliver. The jokes are fairly sparse, although the few that are in the film are good, which seems to be a problem shared with many films of this type (The Full Monty probably being the exception). However, it's not a bad effort overall, and if you're interested in shoes (like those people in Sex and the City) you might well want to check it out.

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Length: 107 minutes
Certificate: 12A
Official Site:
IMDB Link:
Release Date: 7th October 2005

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