November 1998
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Movie Review: The Opposite of Sex


by Jessica Brandt

I can't decide if I like Christina Ricci or not. While reading a recent interview (With Spin, I think) I found myself being put off, but at the same time connecting with her in some weird way. Maybe it's just the fact that she really embodies Wednesday Adams, and when I see her doing any other acting, I think "There's Wednesday, trying to break into film again." Or maybe I envy the size of her breasts.

Whatever the case may be, I *did* enjoy this movie. It was a rental (came to your local indie screen in May of '98), so don't go looking at the box office for it. The Opposite of Sex stars Ricci as a white-trashy "punk" teen from Louisiana, who runs away to her gay half-brother's house (Martin Donovan) in Indiana when her step father dies. I'd explain the rest of the plot to you, but really, you wouldn't believe me. This story takes more twists and turns than the West Virginia Turnpike, which is mainly what kept me interested, even at 3 AM.

Ricci's character, DeeDee (ugh, HATE that name...), serves also as the narrator, which ads a lot to understanding her (DeeDee) as a person. "If you don't like movies where some person you can't see talks the whole time and covers all the holes in the plot, and at the end says 'I was never the same after that summer,' or whatever, like it was so deep they can't stand it, then you're out of luck," she says to begin the movie. DeeDee is the type of person who isn't in to all that "mushy crap" so since the movie is run by her, the viewer doesn't have to sit through it all.

Donovan does an excellent job playing the gay-half-brother Bill, where one can't help but feel immensely sorry for this guy (Not because he's gay, silly, but because Ricci's character comes back into his life and by caring for her, he gets himself officially screwed over, big time). Johnny Galecki (Roseanne) provides a little comic relief as Bill's ex-boyfriend's ex-secret-lover (I told you the plot was twisted), playing the only "flamer" of the three homosexuals portrayed. Lisa Kudrow sports a new hair color, which I couldn't get past. She does a good job of being a sexually repressed thirty-something, but that's about it. Her character had about as much depth as a Dixie cup. Lyle Lovitt comes in midway through, and ends up being a surprisingly good part of the movie, providing some realism to this otherwise outlandish plot.

Don Roos is the director as well as the writer for this film, he did such films as Boys on the Side, SWF, and Diabolique, none of which I have seen, so I can't be all professional-like and compare them.

This movie is not for the easily offended. DeeDee really is a bitch in every sense of the word, but she's only sixteen so it's entertaining to see what kind of crap comes out of that mouth. Also, it's not a chick-flick, it's more of a "GenXer," which means you and all your buddies can watch and giggle all you want at the skimpy outfits Ricci wears and no one will think you're a unsensitive pig.

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