The Opposite of Sex (1998)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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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.
R (For strong language and sex related dialogue and sexuality)
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Sony Pictures Classics

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Christina Ricci
as Dedee Truitt
Martin Donovan
as Bill Truitt
Lisa Kudrow
as Lucia
Lyle Lovett
as Sheriff Carl Tippett
Ivan Sergei
as Matt Mateo
Megan Blake
as Bobette
Colin Ferguson
as Tom Dalury
Dan Bucatinsky
as Timothy
Amy Atkins
as TV Reporter
Leslie Grossman
as Girl Student
Emily Newman
as Marcia
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)

This politically incorrect comedy serves up murder, unwanted pregnancy, and other neuroses, all undercut by the acerbic asides of the Lolita-like protag (acidly played by Christina Ricci).

Full Review… | December 24, 2006

A few poorly cast actors bring this one down a few notches.

Full Review… | December 31, 2005

Hilarious and confident...the couples multiply, couplings turn into triangles, and the year's most unlikely authorities separate love from mere, if avid, pastimes.

Full Review… | January 10, 2003
Nick's Flick Picks

...most of the time the film succeeds only in emphasizing the distance between the characters on the screen and the people watching them in the theater.

October 29, 2002
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

A hoot from start to finish. Don Roos has a real knack for fleshing out the foibles of contemporary sexual mores.

Full Review… | March 1, 2002
Spirituality and Practice

Beyond the narration and the homosexual element... a fairly typical 1990s indie sex comedy

Full Review… | December 31, 1999

Audience Reviews for The Opposite of Sex


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 Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


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 Baldock
Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer

Satirical and biting (altho it lags in a couple of spots) herein is an indepth commentary on relationships, and often the picture is not Hollywood pretty. One of Ricci's best performances (perhaps her best film period) and Kudrow matches her easily blow for blow. A smart film is good to watch.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

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