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'The Opposite of Sex'

By Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 26, 1998

  Movie Critic

The Opposite of Sex
Lisa Kudrow stars in "The Opposite of Sex." (Sony)

Don Roos
Christina Ricci;
Martin Donovan;
Lisa Kudrow;
Lyle Lovett; Johnny Galecki
Running Time:
1 hour, 40 minutes
For singularly profane narration, sexual activity, shooting, jokes about homosexuality and physical deformity, and a scene of a pregnant woman being slammed into a wall
Ironically, "The Opposite of Sex" is very much like sex. On second thought, make that bad sex. Actually, sexual assault is more like it. It will leave you feeling used, bruised, violated, mistrustful and unclean.

This unfocused, unsubtle and unfunny feature debut by writer and director Don Roos tells the story of a modern-day Scarlett O'Hara. Dedee Truitt (Christina Ricci) is a foul-mouthed, chain-smoking, promiscuous, 16-year-old runaway from Louisiana who barges into the Indiana home of her gay half-brother Bill (Martin Donovan), seduces his boyfriend Matt (Ivan Sergei), steals $10,000 and the ashes of Bill's deceased lover and then runs away again, with Bill, his friend Lucia (Lisa Kudrow) and the town sheriff (Lyle Lovett) in hot pursuit.

In all of filmdom, rarely has there been a character as vile, as unredeemably unlikable as Dedee. And that's by design. Throughout Roos's film, Dedee provides a caustic, pseudo-hard-boiled voice-over that not only gives running commentary on the action in oh-so-post-modern self-referential fashion, but continually shoves the audience away by telling us (as if we needed reminding!) what a snot she is.

The technique might be amusing and effective if only the laughs were at the expense of hypocrites and liars and not everyone in the film with a shred of decency.

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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