Drama (US); 1998;
Rated R; 105 Minutes
Christina Ricci: Dedee Truitt
Martin Donovan: Bill Truit
Lisa Kudrow: Lucia
Johnny Galecki: Jason
Ican Sergei: Matt Mateo
William Lee Scott: Randy
Produced by Michael
Besman, Steve Danton, David Kirkpatrick and Jim Lotfi; Directed
and screenwritten by Don Roos
| Written by DAVID KEYES
Opposite Of Sex" is a movie that has fun with the audience,
and at the same time amuses itself. It reminded me of "The
Ice Storm," not only because both star Christina Ricci,
but also because the material from both movies treated all
of its characters in the same way. Those from "The Ice Storm"
suffered--the characters in "The Opposite Of Sex" are all
smart-mouthed, obnoxious, and sometimes very intelligent
human beings who are either sexually driven, money-hungry,
or bossy to others. Dedee, Ricci's character, occupies the
movie so deliciously and wisely, she directs the whole concept
into one of the most unique of its kind. She narrates and
guides us through the picture every step of the way as it
slowly unfolds into a multi-plotted picture, containing
intellect and rebellion. It is the best type of film--it's
the type that starts off great and gets better and better.
Ricci brings life and color to each moment, narrating the
film as if we were audience members from a movie like "Dumb
life, "The Opposite Of Sex" has a lot of it. It's about
Dedee (Ricci) who runs away from home in Louisiana to join
her half-brother in Indiana, who is a teacher. Arriving
there, she meets a guy named Matt, who, as it turns out,
happens to be her brother's gay lover.
But not for
long. Ricci jumps at the chance to convert him heterosexually,
not just because she's physically attracted to him, but
also because she's pregnant, and needs someone to carry
on the role as the father. Alas, she doesn't tell him that
she's pregnant until they've already jumped in bed, and
by the time Matt finds out the baby isn't his, both have
already run away.
brother, Bill, is having problems with homosexual criticism
at the school he works at. A boy named Jason (played by
Johnny Galecki, who use to perform on "Roseanne") claims
to the administration that he was molested by Bill while
he was in school. In truth, however Jason is lying because
he seems to think that Bill was the cause of Matt's disappearance.
He doesn't realize (or for that matter, won't accept), that
Matt has run off with a woman.
In between all
of these circumstances is Lucia, a funny young woman played
by Lisa Kudrow, who at first spends a lot of time over at
Bill and Matt's apartment, interfering often with Dedee's
attempts to seduce Matt for herself, and then later interfering
with Bill's attempts to get Matt and Dedee back to Indiana.
All of it eventually clings together once Dedee's other
boyfriend, a man described as having one testicle, turns
up dead with a bullet wound in the back of his head, and
the gun was used by Dedee after he assaulted her. The movie
then moves into Canada, where all of these situations resolve
and eventually play out to the point where Dedee was "never
the same after that summer."
Of Sex" appeals to that portion of our lives when films
can be deceiving if we take them for granted. It messes
with our brains, and tries to test our ability to conquer
the notion that what we see is not always what we get. One
of the last shots takes place in a hospital, and creates
the impression that the narrator has died in childbirth.
Enter the next shot: "Wake up, guys! I'm the narrator. You
honestly thought that I'd die?"
"The Opposite Of Sex" takes is by humorous, witty, and observant.
It's been a proven notion that such stories in the movies
have no appeal to audiences anymore because they retread
from earlier films. Ricci's narration and attitude bring
the tone of such a formula to dazzling life, and with some
of that mixed with the intelligent humor and dialogue found
in "The Opposite Of Sex," this movie passes off as one of
the year's smartest and witty entertainments.
© 1998, David Keyes, Cinemaphile.org.
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if the above review contains any spelling or grammar mistakes.