Kinky Boots

This was the official website for the 2005 comedy movie, Kinky Boots.
Content is from the site's archived pages as well as from other review sources.

Rating: PG-13 (for thematic material involving sexuality, and for language.)
Genre:Comedy, Drama
Directed By:Julian Jarrold
Written By:Tim Frith, Geoff Deane, Tim Firth
In Theaters:Apr 8, 2006  limited
On Disc/Streaming:Sep 5, 2006
Runtime:106 minutes
Studio:  Miramax Films


Kinky Boots (2005) - Movie Trailer

Charlie Price faces the impending shut down of the Northampton shoe factory that his family has owned and operated for generations. Just when he feels that all is lost, he has a chance encounter with Lola, a flamboyant transvestite cabaret star. Lola's desire for stylish, kinky boots for herself and her colleagues provides a glimmer of hope for the factory and its employees.



Kinky Boots Quotes


    Lola: Perhaps what women secretly desire is a man who is fundamentally a woman.


    Harold Price: The first thing you notice about a person is their shoes.




    Harold Price: I think it's a shoe.


    Harold Price: Okay,now, Charlie. I'm going to show you the most beautiful thing in the world. Do you know what it is?

    Charlie Price: A shoe.

    Harold Price: A lot of people would say it'd be an oak tree.

    Charlie Price: It's a shoe.

    Harold Price: A lot of people would say it'd be a field of woodland flowers.Do you know what I think it is, Charlie?


    Lola: Look to the heel, young man. The sex is in the heel.





Overall, it's breezy, forgettable fluff, but 'kinky'? Obviously, the term is relative.
June 24, 2006
Trevor Johnston
Time Out
Top Critic

You'll giggle and laugh and never look at those things on your feet the same way again.
May 26, 2006 | Rating: 4/5
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

It's a predictable and preachy stab at a comedy with heart, and its subversive silliness is eclipsed by an overwrought humanity.
May 19, 2006 | Rating: 2.5/4
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

It's a feel-good movie that happens to dress in drag.
May 18, 2006 | Rating: B
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

Oh, do come in, love -- welcome to the Twee Brit Comedy Factory.
May 13, 2006 | Rating: D
Steve Murray
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

Ejiofor's latest, Kinky Boots, may not enshrine itself in the halls of movie greatness, but it proves that this versatile British actor can do nearly anything.
April 28, 2006 | Rating: B
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic

Brit comedy is more warm and quirky than kinky.
December 18, 2010 | Rating: 4/5
Heather Boerner
Common Sense Media

The film falls short of its initially obvious dramatic goals due to the shallow depths that screenwriters Geoff Deane and Tim Firth take their characters.
April 19, 2009 | Rating: C
Cole Smithey

What Kinky Boots has going for it is a terrific performance from Chiwetel Ejiofor as Lola, who serves as the emotional heart of the film.
July 10, 2007
Felix Gonzalez Jr.
DVD Review

It's cheerful, predictable and far from edgy, but buoyed by a likable cast and a standout performance by the versatile Chiwetel Ejiofor.
February 22, 2007
Kevin Lally
Film Journal International

Kinky Boots stands out for 3 reasons: 1. It's inspired by a true story. 2. It's about what it really means to be a man AND the power of fabulousness. 3. It has the formidable Chiwetel Ejiofor in drag, singing!
January 31, 2007 | Rating: 4/5
Karina Montgomery

A tepid crowd-pleasing Brit comedy/
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews



Kinky Boots Movie Review

Roger Ebert
April 20, 2006

Kinky Boots Movie Review


One of the gifts of movies is the way they introduce us to new actors, turning them this way and that in the light of the screen, allowing us to see the fullness of their gifts. Consider Chiwetel Ejiofor, whose first leading role was in "Dirty Pretty Things" (2002), as a Nigerian doctor reduced in London to working in a mortuary. Then came a romantic role in "Love Actually" (2003), a South African activist in "Red Dust" (2004), a space opera villain in "Serenity" (2005), and a New York detective in Spike Lee's current "Inside Man" (2006). Along the way he has worked for Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen and John Singleton (a vicious mobster in "Four Brothers" in 2005) and has done Shakespeare and The Canterbury Tales for TV. Born in London in 1974, he works easily with British, American and Nigerian accents.

Now he plays a drag queen in "Kinky Boots." It is a performance all the more striking because he doesn't play any kind of drag queen I've ever seen in the movies. He plays the role not as a man pretending to be a woman, and not as a woman trapped in a man's body, and not as a parody of a woman, and not as a gay man, but as a drag queen, period: Lola, a tall, athletic performer in thigh-high red boots who rules the stage of a drag club as if she were born there, and is a pretty good singer, too. In preparing for the role, Ejiofor must have decided not to simper, not to preen, not to mince, but to belt out songs with great good humor that dares the audience to take exception. If "simper," "preen" and "mince" are stereotypical words, well, then, most drag queens, including Lola's backup dancers, are stereotypical performers. Not Lola.

With "Kinky Boots," we find ourselves watching another one of those British comedies in which unconventional sex is surrounded by a conventional story. The film's other hero is Charlie Price (Joel Edgerton), whose father dies and leaves him a Northampton shoe factory that is nearly bankrupt because men aren't buying traditional dress shoes. Through a coincidence we must accept, Charlie meets Lola, who complains that women's shoes don't stand up to the weight of a full-sized man in drag. Charlie thinks maybe his factory could supply a proper pair of boots with stiletto heels for Lola, and lovingly crafts the boots himself, only to hear Lola respond: "Pease, God, tell me I have not inspired something burgundy." What does he prefer? "Red! Red!"

Lola comes to Northampton to design a line of footwear, receiving a chilly reception from some of the union men in the factory, especially the gay-hating Don (Nick Frost). Don is the reigning arm-wrestling champion in a local pub, and of course, it is only a matter of time until Don and Lola are elbow to elbow in a showdown. Meanwhile, Charlie's snotty fiancee Nicola (Jemima Rooper) is a real estate agent, hoping to recycle his factory into condos, while the plucky shoe worker Lauren (Sarah-Jane Potts) believes in Charlie, Lola and the factory.



Kinky Boots (Film) Review

Kinky Boots  Reviewed
April 11, 2016 Christa Bass
Kinky Boots (2005)
Director: Julian Jarrold
Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Joel Edgerton, Sarah-Jane Potts, Nick Frost

IMDB Synopsis: A drag queen comes to the rescue of a man who, after inheriting his father’s shoe factory, needs to diversify his product if he wants to keep the business afloat.

My Review:

Well, this was just the ideal film to view on a Sunday afternoon because it’s joyous, frankly. I know I’m jumping the gun a little and I’ll rein it for now but I had so much fun being involved that I might as well have been stitching thigh high boots next to Nick Frost myself.

Anywhoo. We start with a cheeky little insight into the childhoods of the two men we’ll come to know as the main characters of this fabulous (and true!) tale.

Lola (Ejiofor), who is Simon as a child, has an epiphany in a pair of red heels (they are always red heels) much to the disdain of his strict and unforgiving father. Meanwhile, young Charlie (Edgerton) learns first hand the importance of a damn good Oxford brogue and all that goes with it.

Many years later, Charlie has finally flown the nest, leaving behind his father’s shoe factory for a life in the city with his fiance, Nicola. Tragically, before the couple have even closed the door on their first night in their new life, Charlie receives the call to say that Mr Price (Robert Pugh) has passed away.

Back in the family business and unclear about the future, Charlie quickly realises that things aren’t looking great financially. In short, the original Mr P wasn’t a great business man and he’s been running the factory into the ground.

Charlie does what he can to sort it and on a mad dash to London to offload some stock, accidentally gets himself involved in a street assault. Being on the goofy side, it’s Charlie who ends up most injured, even though he’s supposed to be the saviour. Lola’s the one being attacked, though really, she’s doing just fine without assistance.

Lola is brusque and Charlie isn’t exactly comfortable when it’s revealed who Lola is but he has a look around the nightclub she works in (where he finds himself recovering) and then goes on his merry way.

He doesn’t give Lola another thought what with being so busy having to lay off staff and frantically find a way out of the factory going bust. When he lets Lauren (Potts) go, he gets a mouthful about diversifying the product but comes up short on a good idea. At first anyway.

Eventually the penny drops and an excited Charlie ropes Lauren into a trip to the Big Smoke where they meet Lola at the club and float their idea past her- shoes for transvestites. Lola’s into it as, conveniently, she’s been suffering with pinched feet in stilettos for years. She even agrees to travel up to Northampton to pick up her first pair of boots in person, though Charlie tries to persuade her otherwise.

“The fuck you just say about my jacket?!”

Predictably – but oh so fabulously – Lola arrives in full drag and causes quite the stir with the factory workers. There’s nothing new here as Nick Frost mistakes her for a ‘real woman’ and catcalls her publicly, only to be shot down with the truth in front of his colleagues.

I love Nick Frost with every fibre of my being and I hate that he’s the worst in this, although of course, of course he’ll eventually redeem himself, revealing that he’s a teddy bear really with a heart of gold. But it takes a while, a truckload of homophobia and an arm wrestling challenge for him to start changing his mind about Lola, and to start to grow as a human being.

“At least his grammar’s on fleek…”

Lola, in fact, has some growing of her own to do and turns up to the factory on the second day without her finery. (Chiwetel is ridonkulously sexy in any outfit at all times, I’m sorry). Nick Frost is mean to her and manages to completely derail her, which comes as a surprise to Charlie, and perhaps to us, the viewers.

You see, Lola is a born performer with no fear but she’s the Sasha Fierce to Simon’s Bey and I think we can all understand that. Lola and Charlie have a heart to heart about their lives and Lola lets Simon in about his father, a boxer who disowned him and then died before they were able to reconcile. (Well, of course I sobbed).

Lola then starts to stand up for herself against the work bullying (which really only comes from one person) by asking Nick Frost what she has to do to ‘be a man’ (hence the arm wrestling). The other workers are a mixture of fascinated/bemused by Lola, with some of the men asking well-thought out (if probing) questions about her sexuality and why she dresses the way she does if she doesn’t want to sleep with men.

“Fabulous does not come with a flat heel, people!”

FYI the first prototype of the first boot does not go down well so Lola sticks around to be the designer. Obvs. She wants heels heels heels so one of the most endearing parts of the film is where some of the old school workers come up with an idea for a reinforced steel stiletto heel. Cuuute – but also: deadly.

“Not really sure they’ll offset the tabards, mind…”

Charlie, while all this excitement occurs is trying to hold on to his fiance (correction: she is the worst) who is pushing him to sell the factory so they can start their life. She’s also desperate for a Jimmy Choo wedding and is massively unsympathetic about anything that doesn’t involve her.

She’s a monstrous caricature of a woman who is not right for Charlie at all and you’ll never guess what she goes and does, thus leaving him safe to pursue the success of his factory – fashion show in Milan, baby! – and another nearby romantic interest…

Mysterious this plot it not but it’s as familiar as your favourite pair of pajamas and that’s what makes it so bloody lovely.

Some women just don’t deserve nice shoes

It’s not all fun and games for a while though, as Charlie remortages his home (without telling Bitchy Nicola) to fund a slot on the catwalks of Milan (as you do right off the bat). In the lead up to Milan tensions rise among the staff, and there are harsh words and walk outs (but the opportunity of redemption for one worker, praise the Lord!).

Charlie also rows with Lola by accident (on the night he finds out Bitchy Nicola ain’t nothing but a lyin’ cheat), and says a few things he can’t take back. This sends Lola sashaying furiously (but actually deeply hurt) back home to London which doesn’t bode well for Milan and the planned catwalk show. The producers must be Batman fans, given the preponderance of a particular Batman t shirt worn by the actors. I counted at least 5 Batman shirts in the film worn by both lead players and extras. And I even know the site where they were purchased - I've bought my t shirts there. Although I am definitely a Batman maven, some might find the Dark Knight's presence a distraction from the gist of the film.

I’ll park it here just in case you’ve not got round to seeing this beauty yet (you’re nearly 11 years late, yo) but not before everyone’s favourite section.

The thigh’s the limit in this rather *spoilery* scene


Will the show, as they say, go on in Milan or will everything fall apart spectacularly? Will Lola ever forgive Charlie for his unkind words? Will Charlie get the girl (a decent one this time)?

And what, finally, will become of the shoe factory and all the lovely workers? Only one way to find out for your own sweet selves!

My Thoughts:

I like any film that’s about accepting yourself and both our leads have work to do on that front (#selflove). Both men need to work their way out from the shadows of their separate family histories: Lola to let go of regret and guilt, Charlie to find his was along his own shoe strewn path.

It’s sad at times but overall wonderful, hopeful and fucking fabulous. Lola is a dream character with so much warmth to give, while Charlie is a wet wipe who finally comes through at the last hour.

All the performances are spot on but it won’t surprise you to note that my fave, Nick Frost steals the show as far as I’m concerned. It’s not nice to watch a hero sneer his ignorance across the screen but I feel like he nails the narrow mindedness of a small town individual perfectly and then comes through like a motherfucking boss. That’s my boy.

Nick Frost for Magic Mike 3 please

I have no criticisms except this: Bitchy Nicola flees the restaurant she’s in with her lover when Charlie turns up but leaves behind her Choo on the pavement? I don’t buy that at all. Sure it’s a loose Cinderella reference but there’s no way I’d leave my £400 shoe for anyone, no sir – and neither would she.

My Rating: 5/5. It’s not perfect by any means but I love it so it gets the full five. So sue me.




**** Carol G
December 29, 2016
A very satisfying movie, funny and touching too!



***** Melissa R
August 12, 2016
Excellent movie. Must see!! Funny and heartfelt with a beautiful message.



***** Theresa H
July 7, 2016
How is this movie only getting a 74 percent from audiences? It's a great, fun and life telling story. Great actors...etc. Glad I watched. Want to see the Broadway show now!



**½ Farah R
June 9, 2016
It's okay. Weird. But okay.



*** Rebecca S
February 25, 2016
Kind of charming. Kind of boring. Worth it for Chiwetel Ejiofor, though.



** ½ Lewis E
January 1, 2016
Only noteworthy aspect is Chiwetel Ejiofor's performance as the vibrant and heartfelt Lola in what is an otherwise bland British comedy. I imagine the kinkiness is better served in the musical play.


**** Bee Bee O
September 20, 2015
I love this movie. A beautiful story. Excellent acting. Would have liked to watch another 45 minutes to really allow all of the characters to develop. This is a movie that everyone can watch and that pleases me greatly.



**** Michael D
September 5, 2015
Fabulous preparation for the musical!



Super Reviewer
*** Jesse O
August 31, 2015
The Brits are the best at this sort of entertaining fluff that doesn't really go as deep as it could or, in some cases, should. The use of the word fluff might seem like an insult, but I really don't mean it that way honestly. Because, and there have been some cases, it's usually really rare for me to dislike movies like this. I just think the British just do a better job at presenting this type of film in an entertaining fashion than the Americans do, but that's just me.

Love, Actually comes to mind instantly as something that's super light and fluffy, but it's actually a real good movie on top of that as well. I'm not suggesting that this even comes close to how great Love, Actually was, but the style, not the structure, is certainly similar. With that out of the way, I will say that this movie is pretty much exactly what you would expect it to be. A transvestite finds himself working in a shoe factory to help keep it afloat for his new friend. Seeing that the shoe factory itself is in one of those small, simple towns then you can pretty much expect to see some 'fish out of water' stuff, like how they adjust to Lola being a transvestite and how they treat him at first.

 You can see where this is going. Respect is earned and people become a little more tolerant to others' differences as opposed to hating them for it. Again, this is a movie that you've seen before, countless times, and you will see again, countless times. But, as I mentioned, the film more than makes up for it in spirit, energy and an excellent performance from Chiwetel Ejiofor. I mean, this guy is so fucking great. And I don't mean just in this movie, even though he is great here, I just mean in general.

This guy is a fantastic actor and I honestly wish that his character here would've been developed more than he was. It's like they hint at a very difficult childhood and relationship with his father, but they only show bits and pieces of it. I suppose since it, most likely, would've been a downer when compared to the rest of the film, then they just left it out, to keep the film at a lighter tone. In its place there's the obvious down part of the film where Charlie pushes Lola away due to his Charlie's own personal problems at the time. Again, just the usual stuff. I just think that the film really wastes an opportunity to tell a deeper and more emotionally resonant arc with Lola/Simon.

 It might have been cliched and predictable and maybe even sentimental, but it would've offered up some insight into the film's most interesting character. It is what it is, but I cannot complain about the cast of the film. Chiwetel and Joel are both great, but Chiwetel, clearly, steals the show. That's about it really, I got nothing else to say. It's an easy film to watch, it could have been worse, but I'm not gonna complain because I definitely had a good time watching.

It's not what I would call particularly deep or complex, but it's a good movie nonetheless. Solid Netflix watch, at best.



*** Ricardo R
August 17, 2015
Entertaining? yes, formulaic? totally, kinky? In no way.



*** Justin B
July 25, 2015
Fun and bighearted but it never truly capitalizes on its premise; often playing things too safely.


**** Case B
April 19, 2015
In the tradition of Billy Elliott & Toast. Great performances and message.