Movie Review - It's a Boy Girl Thing (2006)

by Emily


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Tags: movies 1, tg 1, tgmovie 1, MovieReview 1, tgtransformation 1
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https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0482527/

Country: United States/United Kingdom

Language: English

Type of story: Magical Body Swap

Does it show the transformation? This body swap is instantaneous.

Sexuality: Sexuality does not change

Nudity: Not the main characters

How I watched it: It was free on Amazon Prime (Watch Here)

When I last watched it: January 23, 2023


For my next movie review, my Discord server suggested and voted for It’s a Boy Girl Thing. This is about the third time I’ve watched this movie.  The first and second were before and during my writing of Masquerades 101.  Some of the scenes of this movie were inspiration for some of the scenes in that story.


My synopsis (spoiler-free):


Nell (Samaire Armstrong) and Woody (Kevin Zegers) are neighbors and were childhood friends a long time ago, but now they're polar opposites and hate each other.  Nell is the prototypical smart outcast girl and Woody is the stereotypical dumb jock. After a trip to a museum, and a fight about how they can’t stand each other’s differences and thus they couldn’t stand being anything like each other, in front of a mystical Native American statue, they wake up in each other’s bodies the next morning.


* * Spoilers ahead * *


Outside of the body swap elements this is your typical teen rom-com.  Boy and Girl hate each other, go on a coming of age adventure, learn about themselves and then fall in love. And they obsess about life after high school. It’s the one thing both Nell and Woody have in common. Nell wants to get into Yale, and Woody wants to get a football scholarship to any school. Unlike other body swaps, this goes on for a few weeks, so it starts to affect their lives. So naturally the climax predictably centers around her trying to play football in the Big Game ™ and him trying to get into Yale using poetry. These characters are walking tropes and the more you watch this movie, the less complex they appear.


God, even the rest of the cast are walking tropes.  The bitch head cheerleader? Check . The token black best friend.  Check. The extreme parents.  Check.


The Transformation: Typically I’d talk about the transformation, but seeing as this is a body swap, I should talk about the first moments after the swap.  The swap, like many other stories, occurs in the middle of the night. This must be an unwritten rule amongst Body Swap gods, idols, and totems (and genies) to only swap in the middle of the night. They both wake up, and naturally you have the comedy of them feeling up their new bodies. Since they’re neighbors and share facing windows, they quickly communicate they want to swap back.  Then hilarity ensues. Woody tries unsuccessfully to put a bra on, Nell is trying to calm down a boner. After getting dressed, they interact with their families. Nell is a vegan (or vegetarian) and Woody’s Mom (Sharon Osborne) is making some meat product for breakfast.(Gotta love 2006, putting reality TV show stars in a movie).  Meanwhile, at the Nell household, Woody is forced to eat oatmeal. The rest of their school day they pretend to be each other and interact with friends, classmates and teachers.


Sexuality:  This one is straight-forward (no pun intended).  Woody, in an effort to disgrace Nell’s nice-girl image, attempts to sleep with a horn-dog basketball player.  But he can’t.  He’s straight. Nell, never gets an opportunity to explore women and dumps Woody’s girlfriend Breanna (Brooke D'Orsay) almost immediately. Wasted opportunity if you ask me.  But hey - this was 2006 and nobody was gay. Except for one extra at the end.


They adapt.  What I look for most in these types of movies is how they adapt. After they stop sabotaging each other and decide to work together, they finally start to settle into their new lives. Woody confronts Chanel (Emily Hampshire), who is his best friend, Horse’s girlfriend. Horse (Mpho Koaho) is a womanizer and he decides to comfort her and tells her to dump him. This allows him to get invited to a sleepover with the girls, including Breanna. So he gets to enjoy femininity a little bit, and learns that Breanna doesn’t really love him.  He also gets talked into getting a Brazilian wax. Hot wax always gets a laugh, right? While Woody gets to experience femininity briefly, all Nell’s experience in masculinity is getting to party with the guys and getting drunk. But this is a 2000’s era comedy and there’s nothing more masculine than getting shit-faced.  


The Swap Back: In all body swaps this is inevitable. Since their original argument in front of the statue was about how they couldn’t enjoy being anything like each other, it means the only way to swap back is to admit being each other isn’t half bad.  So, Nell and Woody, after succeeding in both the football game and the Yale interview, admit to each other that if they’re stuck like this, it wouldn't be a bad thing. Cue the swap. I was thinking this was two scenes too early. Instead of getting them to go to the homecoming dance as each other, we get treated to yet another “I don't like you anymore” moping scene before having them meet up at the dance. Why is Nell moping?  She saw  Breanna forcefully kissing Woody.  Despite Woody looking like he didn’t enjoy it, Nell decided to get jealous anyway and run away. But anyway. I would’ve liked them to stay swapped into the homecoming dance. Maybe I'm just projecting and would like to see Woody try on a dress and get dolled up. Nell can win homecoming king. But anyway, I wonder what would've happened if they stayed swapped for longer.  Would they still continue down their paths?  Would they date? They never kissed while swapped.  


The Dance: because I’m still in the middle of The Boy Who Would Be Prom Queen, I feel obliged to talk about the homecoming dance scene. Unmemorable. Woody and Alpha-bitch cheerleader win King and Queen. Cheerleader gives unnecessary speech and is interrupted by a teacher. I feel like I've seen that trope before. Nell shows up before the King and Queen dance and he rushes to her. End of story.


Cinematography: The swap itself is denoted using a cloud like aura between the two. The original swap also superimposes their eyes.  The swap back is just the aura. A fun scene is at the dance when Nell shows up.  They remove all of the students at the dance so that it’s just Woody and Nell on the dance floor.  It was a great way to be romantic and show that they didn’t care about their surroundings. It kinda reminded me of an 80’s teen comedy.  What was missing was that actually choreographed climatic dancing.


Random Notes:

  • Woody is such a bully.  This way we can have the audience hate him to give him a character arc right?

  • Wait.. so, when Nell isn’t looking, Woody brings up a male porn site on her computer at school.  That’s funny if you consider that he would have to know that site exists to type it in right? 

  • The writers were obsessed with “BBC”.  Nell in Woody’s body stared at Horse’s… schlong so long that it made me uncomfortable. 

  • Both actors do a pretty good job of playing each other for the first half of the movie.  Woody isn’t graceful and Nell is very prim and proper. What I like is that they start to act more and more natural towards the end.

  • Change of style.  I do like that they started to change each other’s style.  Day 1, She changed his style and made him look preppy.  Day 2, he tried to make hers look slutty.  It occurred to me that the outfit he wore was definitely altered.  So I guess he took scissors to a longer skirt to make a mini skirt. I kinda would love to be in his head as he decided to do this.

  • Here’s the nudity. When Woody decides to take a girls locker room shower, he stands there and burns it all to memory. Until a larger girl comes in.  Insert fat shaming here. Remember this is 2006, and being a fat girl is one of the seven deadly sins or something.

  • When they revisited the museum and asked the statue to swap them back, unsuccessfully, this definitely inspired M101’s Chapter 14 where Nicole and Victor attempt every body swap trope to swap back.

  • So apparently, both dads used to be friends.  But Nell’s mom is an uppity bitch and looks down on Woody’s parents because of their socioeconomic status. Nell’s dad needs to grow a pair.

  • I liked that Woody thought out of the box to assist the Yale interview and used rap as modern poetry.  What I have a hard time with is the interviewer does not know who the famous 2000’s era rap artists are.  But of course this does lead to a very CRINGE scene during the credits where this old white guy is trying to rap? I hate the old-white-guy-tries-to-act-black trope.  I never found it funny.

  • So in how many movies does a main character decide NOT to go to the dance, only for someone to show up… with a dress. This time it’s Nell’s dad.  Let me repeat that.  Nell's dad went to a dress store and bought a dress for his daughter without consulting her for style, size and such. That’s weird.  So instead I’m going to believe that Nell’s Dad is a closeted crossdresser and has previously raided Nell’s closet.  Try to change my mind.


What I disliked about it? 

It's a 2006 movie that relies on stereotypes, tropes and cheap laughs that will continue to not age well. I don’t particularly like Nell or Woody. Their character arcs are kinda weak too.  So Nell sees through her mom, and Woody can appreciate Shakespeare.  And they both love each other instead of hate each other. Oh - and Nell blowing off college to take a gap year feels weird and out of left field. I liked it more during the first viewing.  The more I watch it, the less I like it. 


What I liked about it?  

I do like that Nell and Woody do experiments while swapped.  With clothing at first, then they assist each other.  Then they adapt to their lives… kinda.  For a movie titled “It's a Boy Girl Thing” doesn’t explore masculinity or femininity at all.  Instead it keeps it shallow and doesn’t force the viewer to consider anything about gender.  Is it worth the watch?  Sure.  As I've said before there’s so few TG/TF movies.  And you can watch to see the inspiration for elements of M101 that I hopefully did better.


Questions for my readers to ponder:

  • Why is Nell an outcast? She's attractive and friendly. And she doesn't have a ponytail or wear glasses. Surely she should have friends right?

  • Nell apparently loves poetry.  She’s reading Shakespeare.  Cool.  Why is it always Romeo and Juliet?  I think they were trying to tie in the feuding families aspect… but they didn’t go down that particular path.  Should they have used a different Shakespeare play?

Discuss in the comments or on my Discord.


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Emily

Hi, I'm Emily and I'm writing Gender Transformation Fiction! This site is a place for me to keep all of my stories in one place. I'm also a software developer in the daytime, so this site will also be a proving ground of cool new features that pop into my head. Feel free to message me on Twitter or at my Discord Server! You can also find me on TGStorytime.com and FictionMania.tv.

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marter

Sadly, I think this how Hollywood would still make a body swap movie today with few changes. I don't think they would ever delve deeper into gender
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Emily

Sadly I think you're right. I suppose I'm looking for a rare Unicorn. A good TFTG story made into a movie.
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marter

That would be a great day
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