Worth A Look: 29.67%
Pretty Bad: 10.99%
Total Crap: 2.2%
8 reviews, 43 user ratings
|Opposite of Sex, The
“Opposite of Sex” is not the best film out, but it is one of the most interesting and refreshing films I have seen in a long time. Instead of the nice likeable heroine you would get in a Prozac movie, you are presented with a heroine, DeDee, who is a young teenage bitch. This makes the movie unusual.The main character is Bill, DeDee’s half brother. He is a high school teacher, and he is gay. DeDee leaves home and goes to live with Bill. DeDee discovers that Bill has a current lover, even though he has not completely gotten over the death of his previous lover. The story is centered on Bill’s love problems.
"Not the usual love story."
DeDee decides it would be fun to seduce Bill’s current lover, Matt. That, of course, screws everything up. Matt decides he’s not really homosexual, but is bisexual. After his fling with DeDee, he leaves Bill. And that is not all of Bill’s trouble. He has to deal with his depressed sister, whose connection with Bill is that she is the sister of his dead lover. The conflict between DeDee and Lucia forms a major part of the story.
I have said enough about the details of the plot. If I tell you any more, it may spoil some of the unexpected things this movie has in store for you.
This is a difficult film to pigeonhole. It is not exactly drama, and it is not exactly comedy either. Maybe somewhere in between. Which just goes to show that a film does not have to fit into a conventional slot to be entertaining.
DeDee narrates much of the story (and back-story). But it is not your straight out boring voice-over. DeDee teases and plays with the audience in a very interesting fashion. (About the teasing and playing with, I don’t want to say any more, as it could ruin the surprise for you.)
The narration makes the film work for the reasons stated above, and also, because the voice-overs, in my opinion, are used as a device to keep the film from going over the top. For example, when Lucia kisses the cop in front of her hotel room and then closes the door, we never go into the room to see the couple making love (in the usual half-naked fashion). Instead, DeDee’s voice-over takes our focus away from the couple by telling us that something gross (in her opinion) is going to happen. In other cases, when heavy drama is about to occur, DeDee and her voice-over intrudes, and this prevents the scene from going over the top.
The film deals with homosexuality in a refreshing way. The gay men are not hiding behind a disease (as in “Philadelphia” with Tom Hanks) or hiding behind funny clothes and comedy (as in “The Birdcage” with Robin Williams). The gay characters in “The Opposite of Sex” don’t dress, act, or talk strange, they are just ordinary people. (By the way, I do think that Tom Hanks and Robin William’s movies are better than “The Opposite of Sex.”)
The film satirizes fundamentalist Christians and their attitudes to homosexuality. DeDee’s boyfriend is presented as one of those typical “wannabe” Christians who, in their eagerness to do what they believe is right (i.e., to follow the teachings of the Bible exactly), often commit very un-Christian acts. (Such as bashing or killing gay men.) In one scene, DeDee’s boyfriend becomes enraged and DeDee tries to calm him down by telling him to “be Christ-like.” However, he does not become gentle, but remains angry and tells her she is unrighteous because she is with homosexuals. (In real life, there was a situation recently where a man had bashed some gay men to death. In prison the murderer became religious and converted to Christianity. Then, he had the gall to say he would be saved - go to heaven - because God had forgiven him, but that the men he killed would go to hell because they were gay.)
People who bash gays are basing their actions on 1 Corinthians 6:9:
Neither fornicators, nor idolaters nor adulterers, nor
homosexuals, nor sodomites . . . will inherit the Kingdom
The characterization of DeDee was handled very cautiously. She was presented as a bitch, but not a complete bitch. In this way the audience’s sympathy could remain with her.
The pace of the film is reasonably quick. The tone of the film is slightly cheeky at first, then, after a rock is thrown through Bill’s window, the movie gets more dramatic.This film is not good enough, in my opinion, to become a cult classic, but it still is well worth seeing. It presents the gay world in a different light than many movies dealing with homosexuality.
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=23&reviewer=228
originally posted: 08/17/00 22:52:54
|OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 CineVegas Film Festival For more in the 2006 CineVegas Film Festival series, click here.