The Opposite Of Sex
Rating -

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

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Written by DAVID KEYES

"The 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 And Dumber."

Speaking of 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.

Meanwhile, Dedee's 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."

"The Opposite 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 approach "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, Please e-mail the author here if the above review contains any spelling or grammar mistakes.
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