Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Opposite of Sex

The Opposite of Sex; Black comedy, USA, 1998; D: Don Roos, S: Martin Donovan, Christina Ricci, Lisa Kudrow, Ivan Sergei

Arrogant and cold Dede (16) run away from home and her mother with her boyfriend Rodney. Since she ends up becoming pregnant, Dede goes to her rich stepbrother Bill, who is gay. There she seduces his boyfriend Matt - and announces she is pregnant with him! The two of them run away with the money to Los Angeles, while Bill and his friend Lucia follow them. There, Dede leaves Matt and returns to Rodney, whom she kills in an argument. Bill and Lucia finally find them and Dede gives birth to a baby. When she wants to abandon her child, she changes her mind and returns back.

Screenwriter Don Roos made his debut as a director with this unjustifiably forgotten film, rich with juciy dialogues and excellent evil role of Christina Ricci, who was nominated for a Golden Globe, as well as an story that seems like a crime version of the show "Will & Grace". Already in the exposition does Dede show her shrill attitude when she narrates the plot: "If you love stories in which the heroine at the end says: "I never was the same again after that summer...", then you're in the wrong movie". The film is rich with such sharp satirical observations, from the scene where teacher Bill (brilliant Martin Donovan) goes to a school bathroom, finds drawing of a naked woman on the wall and then uses his marker to "change" it into a face since he re-shapes the breasts into eyes. As a whole, the film doesn't quite exploit all it's possibilities to the fullest - it resonates well with the viewers, but not to such an extent - but as it is, it's a really good piece of sharp cinema. The most surprising thing was the unexpectedly smashing performance by Lisa Kudrow (who even won the New York Film critics Circle Award as best supporting actress): the scene where her character Lucia is repeatedly telling "Vagina!" to gay Bill, without success, as if it's counteracting to her Pheobe in the best episode from "Friends", where she tries to "seduce" Chandler because she knew he was hiding a relationship with Monica.


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