The Opposite of Sex (1998) / Comedy
MPAA Rated: R for strong language and sex related dialogue and sexuality
Running Time: 105 min.
Cast: Christina Ricci, Martin Donovan, Lisa Kudrow, Ivan Sergei, Lyle Lovett
Director: Don Roos
Screenplay: Don Roos
Review published October 22, 1998
The Opposite of Sex is a scandalous black comedy starring Christina Ricci (The Addams Family, Addams Family Values) as an unscrupulous and manipulative 16-year-old who moves in with her gay half-brother and seduces his lover. Upon notifying them she is pregnant, they are kicked out of the house and move to LA. The half-brother has problems of his own, as scandal erupts when a former student at the high school he teaches at threatens to concoct a story about being raped by him several years before.
While The Opposite of Sex isn't a great film by any means, or a particularly compelling story, it does maintain a level of perverse and twisted enjoyment with acid-laced comedy and some fine performances. The supporting cast is solid, and first-time director Roos (Bounce, Happy Endings) does a fine job keeping everything together, and as a writer delivers a fresh and vibrant script. The movie as a whole could have been a bit better with some tweaking here and there, and perhaps a recasting of the lead, as Ricci isn't that good of an actress to carry a film. That's an arguable point, and I'd still recommend The Opposite of Sex if you love politically incorrect dark comedies, and one that doesn't just push all the hot buttons, but tap dances on them with glee.
©1998 Vince Leo