'Kinky Boots'

Why are movies "inspired by a true story" always the most contrived? The new Kinky Boots feels old, or at least vintage. The Full Monty is the most obvious reference point for this tale of struggling British blue-collars entering the world of exotic dancing, but attentive viewers will recognize story beats and characters from loads of other comedies of the uplifting British variety. In this year's model, the last scion of a once prosperous British shoe dynasty (Joel Edgerton) saves his factory by switching production from conservative oxfords to thigh-high stiletto-heeled boots after an inspirational meeting with cross-dressing cabaret singer Lola (Chiwetel Ejiofor). Though Lola screams about designing "irresistible, tubular sex," Boots is unforgivably tame; only foot fetishists (or possibly Imelda Marcos) could get off on such desexualized, PG-13-rated fare. For a more provocative take on these issues, see John Waters's Female Trouble, still the definitive statement about drag queens and cha-cha heels.

 
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