"I've never tried Communism, but I know I wouldn't like it," the
brainless hunk, Matt Mateo (Ivan Sergei), tells Dedee, the teenage
seductress who wants him to try sex with her. "Or grits," he adds
after he thinks for a moment longer.
Dedee, the 16-year-old, seductive protagonist of the acerbic
comedy, THE OPPOSITE OF SEX, has been coming on to Matt. Even though
Matt is the live-in gay lover of her half-brother Bill (Martin Donovan
from HOLLOW REED), Dedee wants him to have his first heterosexual
experience with her, so she tries everything to entice him, including
dropping her halter top to display her rather large sexual assets.
As Dedee Truitt, Christina Ricci from THE ICE STORM plays a role
that is tailor-made for her sarcastic brand of humor. With
in-your-face cleavage, short skirts, heavy make-up and platform shoes,
she's a catty Lolita on steroids. Derided as "the human tabloid" for
her proclivity for sleeping around, she is also the movie's sardonic,
take-charge narrator. ("This is the part where I take the gun. Duh,
this is, like, important.") As the narrator, Dedee manipulates the
story by offering alternative versions and different perspectives on
the story, which further enlivens an already exuberant picture.
Writer and director Don Roos's irreverent script can and should be
compared favorably to Warren Beatty's BULWORTH. Happy to offend any
group without worrying about retribution, this very funny picture
dishes out one guffaw after another with many of the best lines being
so raunchy as to be unprintable.
As Lucia, the sister of Bill's dead lover, Tom, Lisa Kudrow from
ROMY AND MICHELE'S HIGH SCHOOL REUNION is made to look like a spinster
aunt with her brunette hair pulled back harshly behind her head. She
and Ricci share equally in the script's best dialog snippets.
"I'm bisexual," Matt announces after he finds he has impregnated
Dedee. "Puh-lease!" replies an angry Lucia, who is quite protective of
Bill. "I went to a Bar Mitzvah once. That doesn't mean I'm Jewish."
"This is how we do it on the Planet Maturia," Lucia lectures the
clueless and immature Matt in another scene. "We have much to teach
The good-hearted story has Dedee and Matt disappearing. Bill, a
teacher who has been falsely accused of molesting one of his former
pupils, joins forces with Lucia in chasing after them. Among the many
subplots is one involving the stolen ashes of Lucia's brother, to whom
Dedee always refers mockingly as "Tom, the dead guy."
Lyle Lovett plays the good old boy, Sheriff Carl Tippett, who
eventually beds Lucia. "What's the point of sleeping with you, Lucia,
if it doesn't get your attention," he complains when she starts
The press kit offers widely varying interpretations of the film's
provocative title, but Dedee offers the most intriguing explanation.
"Sex always ends in, like, kids or disease or relationships." She says
that this is just the opposite of what she wants.
THE OPPOSITE OF SEX runs 1:40. It is rated R for profanity and
sexuality and would be fine for older teenagers.
Copyright © 1998 Steve Rhodes