Fresh out of a stint in jail, transgender prostitute Sin-Dee and her pal Alexandra hit the crazy streets of LA to get revenge on her fickle pimp.
OK, that premise is a lot, but give it a try anyway.* It’s Christmas Eve, and Sin-Dee has just been released after 28 days in jail. Upon learning that her boyfriend/pimp got himself a sidechick, Sin-Dee sets out on a mission to track his cheating ass down.
*The framework is undoubtedly rooted in realism: trans women and trans POCs are more likely than the general population to do sex work, and both leads had once been sex workers.
Kitana Kiki Rodriguez as Sin-Dee
Sin-Dee is a veritable force of nature, which makes her rare quiet vulnerability that much more affecting.
Mya Taylor as Alexandra
All Alexandra wants to do is promote her singing gig (“Mary’s, at 7!”), but she’s reluctantly pulled into Sin-Dee’s dramz.
James Ransone as Chester
Even though I initially tuned into Generation Kill for A.Skarsgård, I did fall more than a little in love with Ransone’s foul-mouthed chatterbox. (I still need to watch The Wire, or I would know him from that, too.) But Chester is definitely nowhere as charming. YOU CAN DO SO MUCH BETTER, SIN-DEE.
Scott Krinsky as a john
It took me far too long to realize, “Holy shizz — that’s Jeffster from Chuck!”
Couch-Sharing Capability: Medium
At the heart of the movie is the friendship betwen two women, so who better to enjoy it with than your own friends? (Although the premise might be a tough sell, in comparison to, like, a glamourous escapist fantasy.) I watched solo, but there were a couple of ‘holy shizz’ moments that begged for instant discussion.
Recommended Level of Inebriation: Optional
The film’s plenty enjoyable on its own, and the plot’s straightforward enough to follow while buzzed. A word of caution, though, for those averse to vom: there’s a barf scene, and there’s a lot of barf. You might also want alcohol and middle fingers at the ready for when transphobic assholery rears its grotesque head. (It’s not too often or violent, though.) But save some of that booze so you can toast to ZOMG trans women playing trans women! And they’re even allowed to have fun!
Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Excellent
Look, I’m a middle-class cis lady from Canada; I am a total Jon Snow, i.e., I know nothing re: sex work in L.A. Tangerine takes an honest, nuanced look into this world and the women proudly living in it. (From a technical standpoint, it’s also kind of mindblowing that the entire movie was filmed on iPhones. BUT WHICH FILTER?!?!) Now more than ever, we need to seek out the stories of marginalized people. And this is a terrific one — with sorely needed love and laughter, too.