Opposite of Sex, The

Dark Comedy In Search of Happiness

Main Cast: Christina Ricci, Martin Donovan, Lisa Kudrow, Lyle Lovett

Director: Don Roos

A snappy, rather cynical take on the “relationship” chase game, I must admit that I enjoy these types of films. I think Ghost World with Thora Birch (with Ricci, young actresses I admire) and The Opposite of Sex are a perfect matching pair. Both have interesting characters and the search for either friendship or love as the meaty center, and both are rather dark but have a bitter-sweet ending.

This movie centers on Deedee (Ricci), a young girl who runs away from home to live with her half-brother Bill (Donovan), a gay English teacher. Right from the start Bill’s friend Lucia (Kudrow) has it in for Deedee, and her suspicions are justified. Deedee isn’t sweet nor cute, but willing to manipulate and wheedle to get her way. In an interesting twist she lures Bill’s boyfriend into bed and convinces him to run away with her to LA with $10,000 stolen from Bill. And if that weren’t enough, poor Bill is framed by another ex-lover and is forced to step down from teaching. I told you this wasn’t exactly a happy-go-lucky comedy.

Bill and Lucia take off after Deedee to get his money back and hopefully clear his name. Along the way they meet up with a lawman, Tippett (Lovett), who is also mixed into the story. His honesty and simple dignity is a sharp contrast and Lucia begins to lose some of her coldness. Obviously I won’t go into details about what happens, who ends up with whom, or any of that, but I will say that the characters are rich enough (and actors skilled enough) that nobody plays wildly out of “tune”, or against their nature. People do change, and in the end, the movie does offer a slender reed of hope.

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