Normal (2003) - Rotten Tomatoes


Normal (2003)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Normal Photos

Movie Info

Although undergoing a sex change is not as unusual a procedure as it once was in days gone by, it is still hardly an everyday occurrence -- especially in rural, conservative western Illinois, where Normal takes place. After 25 years of marriage, Roy Applewood (Tom Wilkinson) surprises his wife, Irma (Jessica Lange), by announcing that he'd rather be a woman, and in fact has felt like a woman for most of his adult life. As Roy undergoes the standard hormone and prosthetics process to transform himself into "Ruth," his sudden gender switch elicits shock, surprise, and anger from friends, family members, and co-workers alike -- but also is met with support and sympathy from a number of extremely unlikely sources. Tastefully produced and acted, the film wisely avoids shock value in its subject matter and condescension in its treatment of middle-America types. Directed by Jane Anderson, who also adapted the script from her own stage play +Looking for Normal, the made-for-cable Normal premiered March 16, 2003, on HBO.


Tom Wilkinson
as Roy Applewood
Jessica Lange
as Irma Applewood
Randall Arney
as Reverend Muncie
Hayden Panettiere
as Patty Ann Applewood
Joseph Sikora
as Wayne Applewood
Richard Bull
as Roy's father
Mary Seibel
as Roy's Mom
Kirk Anderson
as Machinist
Barbara Ann Grimes
as Thrift Store Saleslady
Rick Touhy
as Kay's Husband
Gene Janson
as Church Usher
View All

Critic Reviews for Normal

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (3)

... almost every line of dialogue has at least two meanings, one literal and the other either pop-anthropological or pomo-ironic. And yet Normal, unlike About Schmidt, actually seems to like its characters, and they seem to like each other.

January 30, 2018 | Full Review…

A television event that truly deserves the label.

March 13, 2003
Top Critic

Story of a middle-aged man preparing to undergo a sex change and of the woman who slowly comes to accept him is rendered with sincerity and restraint by director Jane Anderson.

February 20, 2003
Top Critic

Anderson's remarkable achievement here is to treat such a sensational subject with such a steady hand.

May 22, 2004 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

The film is sprinkled with a bit of humor right up to the charming end when we realize that this is a movie about the strangest things some of us will do for love.

February 12, 2003 | Rating: 3.5/5

Audience Reviews for Normal

Powerful performance by Wilkinson and a powerhouse performance by Lange (who actually stole the show). This is an very interesting story about a modern issue rarely thought about but nevertheless, profound.

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer

The word NORMAL is relativ

Wahida K
Wahida K

Super Reviewer


Great movie!

Leo L
Leo L

Super Reviewer

Normal Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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