‘It’s a Boy Girl Thing’ – 2006
Director: Nick Hurran, Steve Hamilton Shaw
Writer: Geoff Deane
Starring: Samaire Armstrong, Kevin Zegers
Runtime: 98 minutes
I have dedicated a lot of time on this blog to reviewing horror films, and it’s no wonder why. B horror films are the easiest to identify, they’re often good even if they are terrible, and it’s a genre which I am a general fan of. However, sometimes it forces me to lose sight of all the other B movies there are floating around there. Such as… the romantic comedy. I often watch films because of a particular actor or actress and so I am often treated to some serious dreck. It’s a Boy Girl Thing is no exception. It’s the story of Woody and Nell, two next door neighbors who pretty much hate each other. She’s uptight, loves reading, and is played by Samaire Armstrong (who played off beat Anna Stern on The OC and served as love interest to Seth Cohen). Woody loves rap, football, goofing off, and is played by Kevin Zegers (drug dealer Damien on Gossip Girl). She likes to play holier than thou and he likes to splash her with water when he drives by puddles on the way to school.
Of course, because this would be a rather boring story if it ended there, they get partnered on a school project at a museum with a statue of an Aztec god that decides it needs to teach them a lesson in getting to know each other. So it does the only thing a statue of an Aztec god can do and it swaps their bodies that night while they’re sleeping. Woody wakes up in Nell’s girly bedroom with breasts and Nell awakens surrounded by football paraphernalia only to discover that Woody lives up to his name.
They are both, reasonably, horrified to discover they must pass the latter part of their senior years not only pretending they are other people, who they’re not too fond of, but also as the opposite gender. Prim Nell doesn’t want to wear the sloppy clothes Woody has a penchant for and dresses him in a very out of character ensemble of khaki’s and oxford shirt. So he retaliates by dressing her slutastically. They keep trying to mess with each others lives for awhile until Nell breaks up with Woody’s bimbo girlfriend, and Woody threatens to lose Nell’s virginity with the school sleaze. Don’t ask me how this is a thing given the fact that 1) that’s intolerably cruel and 2) Woody would technically be sleeping with a dude, which doesn’t seem his speed. Nell’s understandably crushed when rumors start flying about her and bursts into tears in front of the football coach.
It’s at this point where they realize what we’ve know all along, that they need to work together in order to keep their lives on track, especially since Nell has a big college interview and Woody needs to win the big football game. Studies and football lessons commence.
But they need to keep things normal at home; Woody’s family is hopelessly Midwestern behaving while Nell’s might be more at home in a townhouse on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. We learn that Woody has apparently never had oatmeal and Nell is a little OCD about her breakfast. However, I think the best part of this film was the minuscule subplot that mentions how the fathers of the two families used to be friends before Nell’s uptight mother decided her husband shouldn’t hang out with someone she considered to be low class. I suppose Nell’s dad thought it wasn’t worth the fight, but at the end of the film, when the two youngsters inevitably fall in love and abscond away in Woody’s beat up old convertible, the dad’s share a nod presumably marking the re-beginning of their friendship. We can assume at this point that Nell’s dad grew a pair.
While it’s quirky Samaire Armstrong that I saw the movie for I couldn’t help but groan at her wooden acting and terrible delivery of lines. It was as if she was trying to portray as much camp and cheesiness as the script deserved, but it’s more probable that she really just don’t know how to act like a guy. Zegers on the other hand… I was a little impressed. I don’t really know this guy that much, other than his relatively small and douchey role on Gossip Girl, but he far outweighed his co-star. This was a ridiculous movie, there’s no way you could read the plot and not know it’s absurd. Body swapping stories often are. But there’s a right and wrong way to go about it and I don’t think this one really succeeded. I laughed. Twice. But overall I wouldn’t really recommend it. Unless you need a little background white noise.
This was definitely not as much fun to watch as a B horror movie.