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"TRANSAMERICA"
(2005) (Felicity Huffman, Kevin Zegers) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Extreme Minor Extreme Mild Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None None None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Extreme Minor Heavy Heavy Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A man who's about to undergo a sex change operation must deal with the troubled teenage son he never knew he had.
PLOT:
Born Stanley Osbourne, but always feeling she was a woman trapped inside a man's body, Bree (FELICITY HUFFMAN) who now dresses and tries to look, sound and act like a woman, believes she's ready for her final gender transformation -- surgery. Yet, her therapist, Margaret (ELIZABETH PENA), isn't so sure about the restaurant worker and part-time telemarketer's state of mind. And when she learns that Stanley/Bree has a son from a one-night stand in the past, she won't approve the surgery until Bree deals with the matter.

This has come up due to a phone call from New York where the police have 17-year-old Toby (KEVIN ZEGERS) in custody for shoplifting. The boy claims his mother is dead, that he doesn't get along with his abusive stepfather and that Stanley is his biological father. Accordingly, Bree travels to New York and bails him out, but not as his father/mother, but instead posing as a church missionary.

Toby wants to meet his father who he believes is a success, and thus Bree rents a car and the two drive from New York to Los Angeles, with her unsure when or if she'll inform him of her identity. Along the way, they have run-ins with an assortment of characters, including Calvin (GRAHAM GREENE) who takes a liking to Bree, seemingly unaware of his/her gender. When they reach Phoenix, they visit Bree's troubled sister Sidney (CARRIE PRESTON) and their parents -- Elizabeth (FIONNULA FLANAGAN) and Murray (BURT YOUNG) -- who still haven't accepted their son's gender changing decision.

With Toby figuring out part of Bree's secret before she admits to it, the unlikely duo continues on their road-based journey toward Los Angeles and an eventual resolution of their unique familial relationship.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're interested in the subject matter or are fans of someone in the cast, it doesn't seem too likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For sexual content, nudity, language and drug use.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • FELICITY HUFFMAN plays a pre-operative transsexual (male to female) who's preparing for that change when he gets a call that he has a son who's in jail. Forced to bail out Toby, Bree travels across the country and then back again, eventually getting to know his son while also dealing with his parents and others regarding his transsexualism. He drinks a bit, briefly uses some strong profanity and keeps his identity secret from Toby for quite a while.
  • KEVIN ZEGERS plays the 17-year-old son Bree didn't know he had who's a street hustler (servicing male clients) who drinks, uses drugs, has a bad attitude, uses strong profanity and wants to have sex with Bree (knowing he's still a man) before realizing Bree is his father.
  • FIONNULA FLANAGAN plays Bree's religious mother who doesn't want anything to do with Bree until she learns that Toby is the grandson she never knew she had.
  • BURT YOUNG plays Bree's more accepting father who must put up with Elizabeth.
  • GRAHAM GREENE plays a stranger who briefly befriends Bree and gives him and Toby a ride to Phoenix.
  • ELIZABETH PENA plays Bree's therapist who won't sign off on the sex change operation until she's sure Bree is psychologically ready.
  • CARRIE PRESTON plays Bree's younger adult sister who lives at home and is a former alcoholic who uses some strong profanity.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated drama. Profanity consists of at least 16 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Sexually related dialogue (concerning a variety of topics, including that regarding sex changes) is present as is other sexually related material, male and female full frontal nudity is seen, and a teen performs oral sex on a stranger for money (not seen in full).

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes (including an apparently incestuous/abusive stepfather), with the latter and other moments leading to various amounts and degrees of tense family material. The above stepfather severely beats his stepson before being knocked unconscious by another person, while the boy punches his biological father once he learns his true identity.

    Characters do various types of drugs and/or drink, while one smokes a few times. Some scatological material is present, as is some behavior that might be enticing for some kids to try to imitate.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We hear that Toby was arrested with a white substance that was assumed to be drugs, but it was not recovered. He later tells Bree that he was just holding the drugs for others.
  • Toby asks Bree if he has anything with Vicodin or codeine in it.
  • We see a photo of Toby's parents holding drinks.
  • Toby's friend offers him some small packets of drugs. Toby first declines the offer and then takes them for future use.
  • Toby talks of others he knows being junkies and crack-heads.
  • Despite Bree demanding that he stop, Toby snorts some sort of drug taken from a small packet.
  • We see a miscellaneous person holding what looks like a beer.
  • Toby shoplifts some whiskey from a store. He then drinks some, Bree asks for some to down some pills and then Toby has more. He then vomits from that.
  • Toby snorts more drugs in a bathroom despite having promised Bree that he wouldn't do any more of that.
  • Some miscellaneous people have wine, with the host telling Bree and Toby that they have rum punch. We then see Toby having some wine and then some of that punch.
  • Toby inhales the fumes from a small bottle of fingernail polish to try to get high.
  • A hitchhiker shares his pot pipe with Toby (both take a hit from that).
  • Seeing that Bree is despondent after a hitchhiker has stolen their car, Toby shows her his last small packet of drugs. Thinking he's offering it to her, she asks if it's soothing, but he then says they could sell it for money.
  • We see a bottle of Mescal next to a man who's helping Bree and Toby. He offers her some, she coughs from it being strong and then has some more.
  • A minor character has a beer.
  • We hear that Bree's sister is a recovering alcoholic who's been sober for more than a year.
  • Bree's parents hold drinks.
  • Miscellaneous people have wine in a restaurant.
  • Bree asks Toby if he wants a soda. Toby asks for a beer and after a pause, Bree agrees and we then see both holding beer bottles.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We hear the sound of Toby urinating in the bathroom.
  • We hear Toby vomiting (just off camera) from drinking too much.
  • Bree goes off to "use the ladies room" in the woods, but we don't see or hear any related activity.
  • Bree makes several comments about the hormones he's taking being diuretic in nature.
  • Bree has a large bruise on the side of his face from where Toby punched him.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • We hear that Toby was jailed for shoplifting what sounded like a frog, and he has a surly attitude toward Bree.
  • Bree allows Toby to believe that he's a missionary there to bail him out of jail and doesn't tell him that he's really his father (until forced to do so later in the film).
  • Bree transports Toby across state lines while he's on probation.
  • When Toby is reunited with his stepfather who says he missed the boy, Toby sarcastically says he knows what the man missed -- "My mouth...my ass." He then asks if the stepdad wants to "f*ck me" and reaches out for the man's clothed crotch.
  • Upset at Toby implying (correctly or not) that he sexually abused the boy, Toby's stepdad punches him several times and then kicks him several times on the floor before a neighbor lady hits the stepdad over the head/back, knocking him out.
  • Toby shoplifts some whiskey from a store.
  • Not realizing Bree is his father, Toby lies about his dad, saying he's part Indian and has a mansion back in California.
  • Toby snorts more drugs in a bathroom despite having promised Bree that he wouldn't do any more of that.
  • Toby tells a man about Bree, "She's got a d*ck." Still thinking he's a missionary of sorts, Toby sarcastically asks, "You're cutting off your d*ck for Jesus?"
  • Some viewers might be offended by Bree stating (sarcastically or not) that he is or will be suffering like Jesus (referring to his sex change operation). Later, Toby refers to Bree as a "Jesus freak."
  • A hitchhiker steals Bree and Toby's car, leaving them out in the middle of nowhere.
  • Bree's mother closes the door in Bree's face upon seeing him. When she finally lets him inside, she grabs his clothed crotch to check for a penis and is happy to have found one. Bree then grabs his mother's hand and places it on his breast.
  • Bree's mother continues to be critical of him, saying that his transsexual state would not have occurred had he gone to church as a boy with her rather than to synagogue with his father.
  • Elizabeth initially looks down on Toby until she realizes he's her grandson.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Toby threatens to punch Bree if he doesn't allow him to use some drugs. Upset at Toby implying (correctly or not) that he sexually abused the boy, Toby's stepdad punches him several times and then kicks him several times on the floor before a neighbor lady hits the stepdad over the head/back, knocking him out.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Toby fires a very fake looking gun that's attached to an arcade game.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*ck no," "F*ck you (dude)," "What the f*ck are you looking at?" "You're a f*cking lying freak," "Very deeply f*cked up," "I don't f*cking believe it," "I f*cked up," "Giving that sh*t up," "Give a sh*t," "Oh sh*t," "Holy sh*t," "You're sh*tting me," "Scared sh*tless," "I'm such a total sh*t," "She's got a d*ck," "You're cutting your d*ck off for Jesus?" "TMI" (Too Much Information), "Dude," "Jesus freak," "You lucky bitch."
  • Part of the vocal practice for Bree involves sticking a finger down onto the back of the tongue and saying "Ah."
  • Toby shoplifts some whiskey from a store.
  • Toby sits up in the open window and sits out of the car (his lower half inside, his upper half outside) that Bree's driving (until she tells him to sit down).
  • A miscellaneous person has a large tattoo on their arm.
  • A few minor and miscellaneous characters (including Bree's sister) wear midriff revealing tops.
  • Toby inhales the fumes from a small bottle of fingernail polish to try to get high.
  • Toby makes fake farting sounds by blowing onto his own arm.
  • A hitchhiker steals Bree and Toby's car, leaving them out in the middle of nowhere.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 16 "f" words (1 used with "mother," 1 used sexually), 11 "s" words, 6 slang terms for male genitals ("d*ck"), 1 for female ones ("p*ssy"), 2 damns, 1 ass, 5 uses each of "Oh God" and "Oh my God," 2 uses of "Jesus" and 1 use each of "G-damn," "For God's sakes," "God," "Jesus Christ," "My God" and "Oh dear God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • The camera focuses on Bree's clothed butt and cleavage-revealing bra as he gets dressed.
  • A therapist asks Bree how he feels about his penis. Bree replies, "It disgusts me...I don't like looking at it." The therapist then asks, "What about your friends?" (not referring to the penis) but Bree replies (thinking the question was about that), "They don't like it either."
  • Bree spots a bulge (from his penis) showing under his clothing and thus adjusts himself to tuck that away (we don't see the penis, just the act).
  • Bree's therapist says that he thought Bree told him he was a virgin. Bree then says that there was a thing back with one girl in college, but that it was so tragically lesbian that it didn't count.
  • Bree hears that Toby is a (sex) hustler, servicing men.
  • Toby says he wants to be in the movies, with Bree asking if he means pornographic ones and Toby replies "Duh."
  • Toby's friend says that Toby is probably going to end up marrying Bree and then mentions something about missionary "p*ssy."
  • Sharing a motel room, Bree walks in (in a robe) to find Toby lying there provocatively in just his briefs. He then gets up and scratches his butt, thus exposing part of his bare butt cheek while walking away from the camera.
  • Toby tells Bree about what he thinks are gay metaphors in "The Lord of the Rings," including something standing in for a vagina and more.
  • When Toby is reunited with his stepfather who says he missed the boy, Toby sarcastically says he knows what the man missed -- "My mouth...my ass." He then asks if the stepdad wants to "f*ck me" and reaches out for the man's clothed crotch.
  • Toby and a girl he's just met briefly but passionately make out in a store.
  • Bree takes Toby to a friend's house, unaware that they're having a sex change party there. We hear one person telling the others to check out photos of their new vagina, while another shows several "vaginal dilators" (smooth dildos or vibrators). We then hear one singing a modified line from "Home on the Range" that includes "where the deer and the antelope play...with each other."
  • Bree goes behind the car to urinate at night and squats down (we hear the urination). He then panics and thinks something's on the ground, and so stands up to finish. We then several full views of his penis as he's urinating (and Toby sees one in the rear view mirror).
  • Toby tells a man about Bree, "She's got a d*ck." Still thinking he's a missionary of sorts, Toby sarcastically asks, "You're cutting off your d*ck for Jesus?" Bree then says it won't be cut off, but rather will be an "innie" rather than an "outie."
  • Toby and a male hitchhiker go skinny dipping in front of Bree out in a remote pond. We see both of their bare butts as they strip and head for the water, as well as a few views of the hitchhiker's scrotum. We then see a full frontal view of the other young man as he stands before jumping back into the pond, as well as several partial views of Toby's bare butt under the water. We then see the hitchhiker's bare butt after he leaves the water.
  • Toby gives a man in a diner a come hither look, with the man then meeting him in the bathroom with another such look. We then see Toby getting into the back of the man's tractor trailer cab for sex. We see Toby shirtless and the man then removes Toby's pants (we don't see anything) before pushing Toby's head down to his crotch for oral sex (we don't see the actual contact or act).
  • Bree states that due to missing his hormone pills, his breasts are getting smaller.
  • Bree's mother closes the door in Bree's face upon seeing him. When she finally lets him inside, she grabs his clothed crotch to check for a penis and is happy to have found one. Bree then grabs his mother's hand and places it on his breast.
  • Seeing the dog licking itself, Elizabeth states that the family dog is a sex addict, just like her husband. He then chimes in that the dog "gets more action that I do."
  • Bree's sister shows a little cleavage.
  • Elizabeth complains that the family dog's tail is cut and standing up straight, adding that it looks like a penis. Murray sarcastically replies about that being black and hairy, with Bree's sister saying it's not like any penis she's ever seen, with Toby saying he agrees.
  • Toby comes into Bree's bedroom wearing just a robe. He sits on the bed, holds Bree's hand and then kisses Bree who asks what he's doing. Toby says "What I'm good at," adding that Bree will like it. He then says he wants to marry Bree and thinks he's sexy, dropping his robe (we see his bare butt) and approaching Bree. Bree (who's his father, but Toby does not know that yet) refuses Toby's advances and his him put his robe back on.
  • We see a full frontal view of Bree following her sex change operation (we see bare breasts and pubic hair beneath the water). She then puts her hand down to her crotch, not sexually, but to reconfirm that she no longer has a penis.
  • We see Toby on the set of a porno movie where he's one of the actors who embraces another who's removed his shirt after Toby says something about sex education. The director, however, yells cut, asks Toby if he's taken his Viagra (he says he has) and asks when he last "came" (Toby says two hours ago).
  • Toby shows Bree a color flier for the porno film he's starring in, "Cowabunghole." It shows pictures of various men, some of whom show bare butts.
  • SMOKING
  • Toby smokes at least twice.
  • Toby prepares to smoke, but Bree won't let him in the car.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • When asked about his family, Bree says that they're dead (but we later learn that's not true).
  • We hear that Toby's mother is dead (Toby says it was a stroke, a former neighbor later says it was a suicide from car exhaust). Toby also says that he doesn't get along with his stepdad.
  • When Toby is reunited with his stepfather who says he missed the boy, Toby sarcastically says he knows what the man missed -- "My mouth...my ass." He then asks if the stepdad wants to "f*ck me" and reaches out for the man's clothed crotch.
  • Upset at Toby implying (correctly or not) that he sexually abused the boy, Toby's stepdad punches him several times and then kicks him several times on the floor before a neighbor lady hits the stepdad over the head/back, knocking him out.
  • Bree's mother closes the door in Bree's face upon seeing him. When she finally lets him inside, she grabs his clothed crotch to check for a penis and is happy to have found one. Bree then grabs his mother's hand and places it on his breast.
  • Bree's mother continues to be critical of him, saying that his transsexual state would not have occurred had he gone to church as a boy with her rather than to synagogue with his father.
  • Elizabeth complains that Bree tried to kill himself in the past, with Bree responding that's because Elizabeth tried to have him committed. We then hear that Bree tried to overdose on medicine, but chickened out and called 911.
  • Bree states that he wishes his parents would look at him and really see him.
  • After Bree tells Toby that he's his father, Toby punches him in the face, knocking him to the floor.
  • Elizabeth reports that Toby is now missing and Bree looks concerned.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Transsexuals.
  • Sex change operations.
  • Sexual hustlers (what Toby is).
  • Pornographic films (what Toby wants to star in and later does).
  • Drug use.
  • A young girl stares at Bree and asks "Are you a boy or girl?"
  • We hear that Bree's sister is a recovering alcoholic who's been sober for more than a year.
  • Elizabeth complains that Bree tried to kill himself in the past, with Bree responding that's because Elizabeth tried to have him committed. We then hear that Bree tried to overdose on medicine, but chickened out and called 911.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Upset at Toby implying (correctly or not) that he sexually abused the boy, Toby's stepdad punches him several times and then kicks him several times on the floor before a neighbor lady hits the stepdad over the head/back, knocking him out.
  • After Bree tells Toby that he's his father, Toby punches him in the face, knocking him to the floor.



  • Reviewed October 17, 2005 / Posted December 30, 2005

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