Opening this weekend in select theaters is the somewhat unconventional new romantic film, Musical Chairs, which is set in the world of competitive ballroom wheelchair dancing. Costarring in the film is Laverne Cox as a cheerful, wheelchair-using transgender woman who is sweetly courted by another character.
The film’s main plotline follows dancing instructor Armando and the professional dancer he falls in love with (Mia) who he helps get back in the game after an accident takes away her ability to walk. While going through physical rehabilitation, Mia meets Chantelle, an elegant transgender woman whose optimistic outlook on life contrasts Mia’s feelings of hopelessness over her situation. Though the story certainly covers some uncommon film territory, fans of dance movies, romances, and ethnic family comedies will also find a lot to enjoy here. Check out the trailer below.
Not only is the plot something rarely seen in film, Laverne Cox’s character Chantelle is also unlike most of the portrayals of transgender women seen in popular culture. Cox has long advocated on behalf of the transgender community, including on her GLAAD Media Award nominated series TRANSform Me and as a contestant on the Media Award winning show I Want to Work for Diddy. She will take the stage again at the GLAAD Media Awards New York ceremony this weekend as a presenter.
Being such a prominent transgender woman herself, Cox also recently took part in the upcoming I Am: Trans People Speak COMMUNITY video series alongside other transgender people like Isis King and Noah Lewis. The series is being produced by the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition and cosponsored by GLAAD. Meanwhile, Musical Chairs opens in New York this weekend, and Los Angeles and Chicago on March 30.