Different for Girls

Director: Richard Spence
Screenwriters: Tony Marchant

Institute History

  • 1996 Sundance Film Festival


A taxi crawls through the clogged streets of London, its passenger a demure, well-dressed working girl. The cab suddenly lurches down an alley, crashing into a motorcycle messenger on a job. Chaos ensues, but no one is hurt. The messenger, Prentice, is fascinated by this passenger, Kim. She seems familiar, someone from his past—school perhaps? But he went to an all-boys Catholic school, where his only friend was Karl.
To his amazement, Karl is now Kim.

Kim has gone through a huge transformation (including a sex change). She has also moved on and has a good job composing rhymes for greeting cards, whereas Prentice has not changed much in the years since they‘ve seen each other. He is still the quirky, tough kid grappling with his own feelings of inadequacy. This is not a match made in heaven, but there is an attraction which makes the unfolding of their story a total delight.

The true brilliance of Different for Girls is that it plays out in a conventional manner. Prentice and Kim are just like any two people trying to understand their feelings and carve out a comfortable place where they can love and be loved. Director Richard Spence should be applauded for the subtle, unexploitative way he allows their story to tell itself, and Steven Mackintosh and Rupert Graves are priceless as the couple learning to accept each other as they must accept themselves. Above all else, Different for Girls is a love story.

— John Cooper

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]