Follow us on

Featured DVD Review: Kinky Boots

November 18th, 2013

Kinky Boots - Buy from Amazon

Kinky Boots came out in 2006 and did relatively well in limited release. Most limited releases don't crack the $1 million mark at the box office. But I think the studio was hoping for a whole lot more. This explains why it is coming out on DVD this week as a bargain release from Echo Bridge. Is it worth checking out if you missed it the first time? And despite being a bargain release, does it have any extras?

The Movie

The film begins with a young boy, Simon, shivering in the cold waiting for his dad. He puts on a pair of high heel shoes and dances. He seems to have a lot of fun dancing, till his dad sees him and yells at him. We then meet a young Charlie with his dad. His dad runs a shoe factory and wants Charlie to take over the factory when he grows up.

Flash forward to the present and Charlie is at the factory with his father toasting him. He's not taking over the factory, he's moving with his fiancée, Nicola. She's a real estate agent who just got a promotion, but she's just happy to be out of Northampton. The pair don't get a lot of time in London before Charlie is called back because his dad died. Charlie now has to take over the factory, which is a job he's not really cut out for. It's made worse when he tries to give his workers an inspirational speech and mucks it up. (He forgets to hit the button on the intercom so people can hear him.) The news goes from bad to worse after Charlie finds out the big order the factory was working on was for a company that had recently canceled due to insufficient funds. Now Charlie has to sell 1200 pairs of shoes and has no one to buy them. He tries to sell them in London, but is told that retailers now want cheap shoes, shoes that people want to buy and rebuy after they wear out.

Reeling from this news, Charlie decides to head to a pub and get really drunk. On the way home, he sees three men harassing a woman and tries to step in to defend her, only to have the woman accidentally knock him out. When he comes to, he discovers it was no woman, but Simon, whom we met at the beginning of the movie, who now goes by the name Lola, and is a female impersonator. Lola complains that his heal snapped, which is why he couldn't get away from hooligans. After watching a bit of Lola's set, he takes off back to Northampton.

Charlie's job at Northampton is going terribly. All he does is fire people, because the shoe factory doesn't have enough orders to keep going. He keeps asking people, what he is supposed to do. One of the workers, Lauren, tells him. She tells him he should be looking for his niche market, like other shoe manufacturers have done, instead of just waiting to go under. Later that night he has an inspiration. He remembers what happened to Lola and runs to Lauren's and takes her to Lola's show. After the show Charlie and Lauren ask Lola if there is a market for woman's boots made for woman who are men (transvestites, drag queens, etc.).

After taking some measurements, Charlie begins making the boots, in secret, because making boots for drag queens might be too much for a conservative small town like Northampton. He rehires Lauren, to do more research into the potential market, and to thank her for sparking his imagination. When Lola arrives in Northampton, Charlie is mortified, almost as mortified as Lola is when she sees the boot that she inspired. It's burgundy. It's burgundy and it's comfortable. Clearly Charlie has a lot to learn about making women's boots, but he really wants Lola to teach him. However, some of his workers, like Don, are not exactly open-minded.

That's probably a good place as any to stop the plot summary. I really like this movie, more so than the average critic. Yes, granted, for a film with the word "Kinky" in the title, it's not overly sexualized, it's rather tame. The film also follows a familiar Britcom formula. If you've seen Calendar Girls, Mrs. Henderson Presents, etc., then you will be able to guess how Kinky Boots will go.

That said, Kinky Boots still has a lot going for it. First of all, Chiwetel Ejiofor is amazing as Lola. How this guy doesn't have an Oscar is beyond me. Hell, he doesn't even have a nomination yet. (That should change this year with 12 Years a Slave.) Joel Edgerton and Sarah-Jane Potts do have good chemistry, and there's lots of great people in supporting parts. Nick Frost, Jemima Rooper, etc.

The Extras

There are a surprising number of extras on the DVD, starting with an audio commentary track with the director, Julian Jarrold, Joel Edgerton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Sarah-Jane Potts. There are also ten minutes of deleted scenes, with optional commentary, and eight minutes of alternate scenes, but no commentary track here. Up next is a 15-minute look at the real Kinky Boots factory and how they turned the real story into a movie. Journey of a Brogue is just over one minute long and is about how the shoes the factory originally made were made.

The Verdict

Kinky Boots is a very good movie, especially if you like British character comedies. There are better than expected extras on the DVD and at just $6, it easily worth picking up.


- Submitted by:

Filed under: Video Review, Kinky Boots, Joel Edgerton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nick Frost, Sarah-Jane Potts, Jemima Rooper, Julian Jarrold