The Opposite of Sex

1998

The Opposite of Sex

Critics Consensus

The Opposite of Sex smartly lightens a bitter story with sharp insights and strong dialogue - as well as a startlingly mature performance from former child actor Christina Ricci.

80%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 41

60%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 16,466
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Movie Info

Screenwriter Don Roos made his directorial debut with this oddball sex comedy. The tale is narrated by 16-year-old Louisiana tramp Dedee Truitt (Christina Ricci), who buries her stepfather and then heads for Indiana to visit her homosexual half-brother Bill (Martin Donovan). Recovering from the AIDS death of longtime companion Tom, schoolteacher Bill has linked up with a new partner, handsome Matt (Ivan Sergei). After Dedee seduces Matt and claims she's pregnant by him, the couple steals $10,000 from Bill's safety deposit box and heads for L.A. Alarmed by Matt's seeming disappearance and hoping to blackmail Bill into disclosing Matt's whereabouts, Bill's former student (also Matt's former beau) Jason (Johnny Galecki) accuses Bill of molestation four years previous, a charge that jeopardizes Bill's job as a schoolteacher. To clear his name, Bill, and Tom's sister Lucia (Lisa Kudrow), leave for L.A. to locate Matt and Dedee. Lucia is a repressed old maid who flinches from even the thought of sex, but even so, weird Sheriff Tippett (Lyle Lovett) takes a fancy to her. Meanwhile, questions are raised about the true father of Dedee's baby, and the film comes to a climax with a shooting, a cross-county chase, and the inevitable showdown between the quirky characters. Shown at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival.

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Cast

Christina Ricci
as Dedee Truitt
Martin Donovan
as Bill Truitt
Lyle Lovett
as Sheriff Carl Tippett
Ivan Sergei
as Matt Mateo
Megan Blake
as Bobette
Colin Ferguson
as Tom Dalury
Amy Atkins
as TV Reporter
Leslie Grossman
as Girl Student
Harrison Young
as Medical Examiner
Pancho Demmings
as Police Officer
Terry L. Rose
as Harley Man
Richard Moore
as Harley Man 2
Susan Leslie
as Judy Zale, Policewoman
Leslie Bevis
as World News Reporter
Nicole Tocantins
as Bobette's Lawyer
Peter Spears
as Doctor Allen
David Phelps-Williams
as School Principal
Todd Eckert
as Parole Office
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Critic Reviews for The Opposite of Sex

All Critics (41) | Top Critics (8)

Audience Reviews for The Opposite of Sex

  • May 11, 2016
    It has the kind of cynical and darkly politically incorrect humor that is among my favorite (it made me laugh out loud the whole time) and an excellent script (which I wish I had written) that makes fun of how ridiculous the characters are as they expose the worst in themselves.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 06, 2012
    Great seductive turn for Ricci here. Another brilliant Martin Donovan performance as well. Don't get enough Donovan lately I'm afraid.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 29, 2011
    A suburban teacher's life spiralled out of control after his gold digging half sister comes to visit. Everyone gets tangled in this black comedy about...well, sex. It wasn't very funny but Kudrow and Ricci both had excellent performances.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Jul 09, 2011
    The Opposite of Sex works as both a wonderful, if cruel, character study, and a parody of audience expectations. Christina Ricci plays an absolute bitch in this movie. Her life revolves around ruining the lives of others. She doesn't even seem to get that much out of it, her reward is to cause people pain. Whether that be acting out at a funeral, inviting herself to stay, getting pregnant, or stealing her half-brother's boyfriend. Ricci narrates in a self knowing tone, explaining why we feel sorry for certain characters and not others. This often works comically, especially when building sympathy for her brother, she then shows the clips where he doesn't sit around brooding. On the opposite end of the spectrum we have Martin Donovan. He is so painfully nice you just want him to lash out. He's an absolute joy of a character, bringing a chilled and relaxing counterpart to Ricci's hobag. We also have Kudrow as a woman so scared of her own life she interferes with others. She tells everyone how to live their life, and her journey is one of the sweetest as the film reaches a satisfactory and moving conclusion. This is a film about the power of sex, but also how there are other things out there. The only downsides were that it was sometimes too smart for its own good, and the homophobic and lack of knowledge concerning aids seemed very dated.
    Luke B Super Reviewer

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