Sin-Dee Rella, played by Kitana Kiki Rodriquez, a transgender prostitute hits the streets on a mission to ‘slap a bitch’ after she learns from best friend Alexandra (Mya Taylor) that her pimp boyfriend Chester (James Ransone) has been cheating on her.
Hopefully you can glean from the synopsis that this film is nowhere near as sordid as David Arquette’s ill-fated turn in Johns (1996) as a gay prostitute in L.A. In Tangerine you are dragged by your hair extensions along for ride in this ever-kinetic piece as Sin-Dee kicks, smacks and spins her acid tongue on her rampage through the harsh streets of Los Angeles.
Rodriquez, of course, is hilarious as the scorned woman trapped in a man’s body. Alexandra only adds to the amusement as she presents herself as Sin-Dee’s cool, calm and collected polar opposite. Dinah, played by Mickey O’Hagan, is an irksome little sprite, and you’d expect her to be! She’s the bitch that hooked up with Chester after all. Ransone is unrecognizable from his turn in the Sinister movies as he plays shaven-headed, doughnut shop dwelling pimp Chester. Not exactly the best place to conduct business if you’d like to avoid the cops, but hey-ho.
Aside from all the mouthing off and the beat downs, what is most poignant about this gritty-looking affair is the act of kindness that occurs within the movie’s closing minutes. The situation tenderly depicts the nature of this community. There may be a lot of bite. There may be a lot of sass. There may even be a little daytime talk show-style betrayal thrown in along the way. But in the end, everything is thrown aside when they are in need and they take care of each other as if they were the closest of families. The foundation may appear as fragile as it is beautiful, but who else do we have if not each other.
A unique and candid twist on ‘a day in the life of’ movie. The climactic confrontation may come across as farcical, but at its heart the real story of Tangerine is the friendship between our two co-leads that helps them endure.