Barry Winchell has just joined army is becoming friends with people around. His room-mate is a little crazy and takes pills for something which we still don't know about. One night, 5-6 folks from the army go to this gay club where they see drag queens performance. After initial joking around, we see that Barry gets interested in one of the performers Calpernia. His room-mate realizes this but he himself is quite fucked up. Love soon blossoms between the two. Calpernia can't believe her stars because Barry is as straight as anyone can get and she is scared to see how truly wonderfully in love he is with her. Barry is not shown as gay. He just chooses to be in love with a woman who is in her transitioning phase. His room mate cannot deal with the fact he is being ignored and Barry doesn't spend enough tie with him. With the help of one of younger comrades, he first spreads the rumor that there is a gay guy in the unit and soon one of the leads begins the quest of finding the man, even though don't ask don't tell policy is applied. Stress soon begins to engulf Barry's mind but things just don't stop here. The younger comrade is also a little fucked up in his head just like Barry's room-mate and one fateful night on the room-mates provocation, he ends up killing Barry. He beats him to death. Its the same night when Calpernia is real sing her dreams of winning a pageant. Yes the culprits finally in real life go to prison but the pure love of Calpernia and Barry never got the due. Barry was just 22 when he died.
The cast of the film is spot on. The actor who plays Barry gives a very restrained and subtle portrayal of the soldier. You can see he is in love truly but also stressed since staying in the army is really important for him. Calpernia is no ordinary transsexual performer. She is smart, beautiful and a true woman inside and thats what attracts Barry to her. Is is shocking that a male actor can perform such a character which such élan and grace without making a mockery of it and still keep it gracious. The male actor walks, talks and portrays the young fragile heart of a woman with grace. Other performances by the actors is also pretty good. This film definitely deserved a bigger reach than just being released on TV. It is not difficult to not get emotional watching the film. The subject was great. That doesn't mean it did not have flaws. Some of the explanations were not very clear. What was Barry's room mates issue. Was he mentally sick? Was he attracted to Barry? I also wish that there was more buildup of romance and love between Barry and Calpernia. But despite these flaws, the film is still pretty strong.
Its a shame that a young man, whose only crime was love had such a tragic end to a wonderful and beautiful simple life. (8/10)