The Iron Ladies | Chicago Reader

The Iron Ladies

Yongyoot Thongkontoon's crowd-pleasing volleyball comedy embraces gay stereotypes with gleeful energy, creating a group hug for inclusivity. When a lesbian coach is hired to manage an A-level volleyball squad in Lampang, Thailand, the regulars walk out, so she restocks the team with a range of gay types—an army sergeant, a transsexual beauty queen, three screaming drag queens known as the “triplets”—and a token straight guy. Along the way to a climactic showdown a few fingernails are broken, but Yongyoot pretty much plays it straight, delivering all the ups and downs one expects from a sports film while undercutting the usual machismo. Two interesting asides: the director and most of the cast aren't gay, and the film is based on a true story from 1996—the real Iron Ladies are shown, too briefly, during the closing credits. 104 min.

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