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Overall Rating

Awesome: 21.98%
Worth A Look: 29.67%
Pretty Bad: 10.99%
Total Crap: 2.2%

8 reviews, 43 user ratings

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Opposite of Sex, The
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by desdemona

"A good comedy, a bad drama."
3 stars

Christina Ricci, the queen of indie (or at least indie-esque) movies, is back again in yet another outstanding performance. Too bad the story was so unworkably jumbled.

Yes, it was funny. It was fucking hilarious. But that was it.

It began as what seemed to be a black comedy. Dedee Truitt (Ricci), a teenage nymphomaniacle manipulative bitch, begins the movie with a voice-over that makes fun of other movies based on voice-overs (they always conveniently cover holes in the plot, and they always end by saying "I was never the same after that summer"). She also warns us that she does not have a heart of gold, nor will she get one. Okay, great, so I'm all prepared for this ultra-sarcastic black comedy where everyone DOESN'T end up happy in the end.

The movie continues. Dedee runs away from home to her gay half-brother Bill (Martin Donovan), telling him some sob story so he'll take her in, all the while keeping her eye on Bill's gorgeous gay lover Matt (Ivan Sergei). Then Lucia (Lisa Kudrow) gets thrown into the mix. She's the sister of Thom the Dead Guy (Dedee's name, not mine), Bill's old lover who died of AIDS, and she's got a serious "thing" for Bill. The movie takes an extremely homophobic turn, with Dedee cracking gay jokes left and right and making rude comments. So now the movie seems like it's going to be a black comedy about gays. Well, the movie does involve many gay men, but the movie wasn't so much about their sexuality as it was about the difference between sex and love, and how everyone apparently just needs to get laid.

So Dedee gets Matt to go to bed with her, then she gets pregnant (but the father's identity is questionable), then she and Matt run away, then Bill is confronted by Matt's lover Jason (Johnny Galecki), with whom Matt was cheating on Bill with, then Jason files bogus sexual abuse charges on Bill, then Bill hunts down Matt and Dedee (Dedee in the meantime demanding Bill to give them money "for the baby"), all the while Lucia is trying like mad to get Bill's attention, and so on and so forth the story continues.

It was actually a pretty good story. It was very entertaining, and EXTREMELY well acted. Each person portrayed his/her character almost perfectly. I was quite impressed. Lisa Kudrow was especially entertaining as a dry, sarcastic, lonely, prudish bitch. Some of her one-line cracks were absolutely hilarious, and she delivered them with style. Christina Ricci was awesome, as is to be expected. She played a heartless, manipulative bitch to the point of perfection. Martin Donovan was a great love-sick softie; the more he got stepped on, the more lovable he was. Johnny Galecki (yes, he was David on Roseanne) was absolutely fabulous as a jealous "faggot" (he was very proud of his sexuality), complete with the stereotypical movements and voice inflections of a VERY gay man. This was truly one of the best cast ensambles in a while; very seldomly do all the actors come together with the precision of a machine, but this cast did just that. However, if good acting was all that was needed to make a good movie, Natural Born Killers would have won an Academy Award and Saving Private Ryan would have been as big a flop as Godzilla.

The problem with this movie was that it couldn't decide what sort of genre it wanted to belong to. Dark comedy? Most of the time. Every now and then Dedee had to come back with a voice-over to remind us of that. Drama? It appears that way. The characters begin to question their own feelings, and they questioned the importance of sex vs. love (love being the opposite of sex, hence the title). How far should one go just for sex? And what is the difference between sex and love, anyway? The controversy becomes a very hot topic for Lucia especially, and this is where the movie takes on an overly dramatic, moral tone. Then we get thrown right back into the black comedy--it turns out, all Lucia needed was to get laid.

Then there was Matt and Dedee. Did he really love her? He obviously cared a great deal for her, or at least for the baby, and he tried very hard to make others see the importance of the baby and how innocent and childish Dedee was. At times he was a lovable character, but by the end he turned into a immature, sex-driven, careless maniac. What the hell happened? I guess that was an attempt at a point (you know, love is more important than sex, but some people don't see that and they're bad, blah blah blah), but it wasn't carried out very artistically. Then there was Bill the Doormat. He got stepped on over and over again throughout the movie (for one, his lover ran off with his sister and because of that he lost his job and reputation due to some jealous boyfriend of his ex-lover's), but he never once seemed to get upset. He always just wanted to help. That was totally cool, but realistically speaking, how forgiving can a person be in the situation he was in? His entire life fucked in a matter of weeks by a half-sister he hadn't seen in years prior to taking HER into HIS OWN HOUSE, and all he wants to do is help?! I wish I had a distant brother like that...

This movie just tried to do too many things at once. Dark comedy and drama are two things that, when mixed, typically don't work. The drama is a downer on the rest of the movie, and the dramatic meaning is lost in the confusion between the drama and cynical humor. And that is exactly what happened in this movie. It could have been great, if only it were just a little more clear on its point.

And Dedee did learn something, and she wasn't the same after that summer.

My advice to the director: stick to comedy.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 06/25/99 14:04:02
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 CineVegas Film Festival For more in the 2006 CineVegas Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

6/28/10 art it remind's me of LINDSAY LOHANS "GEORGIA RULE' from 2007. 3 stars
1/17/10 Anonymous good and unique 4 stars
1/08/09 Shaun Wallner Ricci is Hot!! 5 stars
3/27/07 fools♫gold A forgotten 90's masterpiece, much like Twelve Monkeys is. 5 stars
2/15/07 keep silent I just feel like to cry and laugh...what more need to be said? 5 stars
5/28/05 pvtvinay nothing 1 stars
4/17/04 Michael Greenwaldt A funny, outrageous, wicked, and entertaining film! It has some highly quotable dialogue! 4 stars
3/19/04 john makes obvious points and tries to sell them as modern wisdom - boring and somewhat cynical 2 stars
2/05/04 mansour sima 4 stars
1/05/04 cwlg420 Well worth watching, funny 4 stars
12/10/02 Breakwind Sharp, witty dialogues with some superb acting from Ricci and Kudrow. 5 stars
10/11/02 Chancey Sugarpants The Opposite of Sex, Indeed. Sex is fun... this is not. 1 stars
12/09/01 Keith Christina Ricci gives a very good performance. I kinda like it. 4 stars
3/29/01 Monday Morning Some of the finer one-liners in movie history. CR is outstanding too. 4 stars
2/13/01 Richard Wright I LURVE the central idea,why the confused treatment?Riccis wonderful performance is wasted. 2 stars
10/16/00 Dan Ricci is excellent and Lisa Kudrow really surprises. Very well acted, colourful comedy. 5 stars
10/05/00 Spetters Everyone is great in this film and it has some of the wittiest oneliners since many years. 5 stars
8/26/00 M Finke Much better then most rentals. 4 stars
2/26/00 Paul Really worth a look 4 stars
11/02/99 Bozo there's alot going on here; ricci is great & so is ivan segei 5 stars
8/17/99 Ramsay tries too hard, didn't hold my interest 2 stars
6/28/99 The Bomb 69 take it as a comedy and not a drama and it kicks ass!! 5 stars
6/26/99 David It works, real funny dialogue...too bad it's not cinematic 4 stars
4/13/99 Jon Jackson Damn witty Skippy! 4 stars
3/09/99 Go Swans One of the funniest, original films in years. Ricci isn't Wednesday anymore. 4 stars
2/01/99 Vick Di Brecci Didn't really go anywhere. Don't find Ricci particularly sexy. 3 stars
1/07/99 bizzy i can't decide whether i love it or loathe it 3 stars
12/10/98 George Morgan Highly entertaining performance by Lisa Kudrow. She steals the whole movie. 4 stars
11/24/98 roxy i hate christina ricci 3 stars
11/20/98 Evil Buffy drak offensive comedy. but funny. thought the characters + storytelling make the film. ivan 4 stars
11/12/98 Lord Of The Dunce Ricci has been lucky with her roles, but I just don't know if she's gonna step up. Good. 4 stars
11/05/98 Nate Dogg Kick ass.... if only they would have shown Ricci's beautiful cans... 4 stars
10/23/98 Christ Monkey Good dialogue and interesting narration device, but kind of silly. It left me immediately. 3 stars
9/21/98 MR HOLLYWOOD KOOL!!,Riccis excellent,silly plot,bit slow BUT harmless FUN ! 4 stars
9/08/98 Young Einstein Ricci doing the wildd thing was worth price of admission. Average movie. 4 stars
9/06/98 Gary Great / Ricci's narration was excellent 4 stars
9/04/98 Badass A mess. Ricci was good, but the story contridicts itself too much. A very poor script. 2 stars
8/24/98 The Capital City Goofball "I'm not gay, I'm bi." "I've been to a bar mitzphah, that doesn't mean I'm Jewish!" 4 stars
8/23/98 Mister Whoopee Ricci is hot. I take it all back. She's hot. 4 stars
8/16/98 Johny Some parts worked, others didn't. Average. 3 stars
8/13/98 {{OZ}} Signs of cool, not overlty offensive, funny enough 3 stars
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  14-Apr-1998 (R)
  DVD: 17-Nov-1998


  13-Aug-1998 (MA)

Directed by
  Don Roos

Written by
  Don Roos

  Christina Ricci
  Martin Donovan
  Lisa Kudrow
  Lyle Lovett
  Johnny Galecki
  Ivan Sergei

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