We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
"The Opposite of Sex" is like a movie with the "Mystery Science Theater 3000" commentary built right in. It comments on itself, with the heroine as narrator. DeDee Truitt, a trash-talking teenager from Arkansas, chats on the soundtrack during and between many of the scenes, pointing out the cliches, warning us about approaching plot conventions and debunking our desire to see the story unfold in traditional ways.
Watching the movie is like sitting through a film in front of a row of wisecracking cult movie fans. It's also sometimes very funny. DeDee (the name may relate to her bra size) is played by Christina Ricci, who is having a very good year, and has left all memories of "The Addams Family" far behind with roles in movies like "The Ice Storm" and "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." Here she shows a cocky, smart-aleck side. She's the kind of actress who makes an audience sit up and take notice, because she lets us know she's capable of breaking a movie wide open.
In "The Opposite of Sex," her 16-year-old character DeDee bails out from an unhappy home life in Louisiana and makes her way to Indiana, where an older half-brother named Bill (Martin Donovan) teaches high school. Bill is gay, and until recently lived with a stockbroker named Tom, who died of AIDS and left him all his money. Now he lives with a younger man named Matt (Ivan Sergei) and gets frequent visits from Lucia (Lisa Kudrow), who was Tom's sister.
It's a good thing we have DeDee to explain all of this to us, usually in cynical terms. DeDee is advanced sexually, if not intellectually, and soon sets about trying to persuade Matt that he is not really gay at all, but has just been killing time while waiting for DeDee to come along. She has a good reason for snaring Matt: She got pregnant in Louisiana and is recruiting a partner.