Friday, January 11, 2008

The Opposite of Sex

Written and Directed by Don Roos
Starring: Christini Ricci, Martin Donovan, Lisa Kudrow, Lyle Lovett, Johnny Galecki
IMDB Entry

Don Roos is one of the more interesting directors working today. His first film, The Opposite of Sex, is a bawdy and hilarious look at sex and relationships.

The story involves Dede Truett (Christina Ricci), who, when pregnant, goes to live with her gay brother Bill (Martin Donovan) and wrecks havoc with his life. She sleeps with his boyfriend, Matt (leading to one of the best exchanges in years: "I'm bisexual." "Puh-lease! I went to a bar mitzvah once. That doesn't make me Jewish. ") There are mixups and confusion caused by Dede's scheming that leads to the ultimate ending.

But what really makes the film work is the dialog. And the actress who really shines -- and has all the best line (like the bar mitzvah one) is somewhat of a surprise if you're familiar with her image: Lisa Kudrow. Kudrow plays Lucia, Bill's best friend, as a cynical and bitter wisecracker. And it helps that her lines are so outrageously funny. It gets so that you keep wanting to hear her speak, knowing it'll be great -- and the script doesn't let you down,

Christini Ricci was also cast against type, playing the Machiavellian Dede as a sexual manipulator. She sleeps with Matt primarily so that she can fool him into believing he was the baby's father. She consistently stirs the pot to make things work our to her advantage, and Ricci does a magnificent job,

The rest of the cast is fine, too. I liked Lyle Lovett as a cop (Lovett is a favorite of mine as a singer, and is an intriguing presence).

But it's really a showcase for Roos, whose script is crackling with the best dialog since the 1930s(though much more sexually explicit). Roos went on to direct the underrated Bounce and even more obscure Happy Endings, both of which are worth watching.

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