Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

The Opposite of Sex

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

The Opposite of Sex

Article excerpt

Think Anne Baxter in All About Eve, without the career agenda. Think Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity; without the guile. Think Lana Turner in The Postman Always Rings Twice, without the day job. Think Bette Davis in Of Human Bondage, without the phony English accent.

If you put them all together, you have some notion of Dedee Truitt, the cunning little vixen played by Christina Ricci in The Opposite of Sex. At 16, Dedee makes these seasoned connivers look like Camp Fire girls. In Don Roos's breathtakingly astringent directing debut, this Louisiana miss sets new standards of chutzpah and self-servingness for all of celluloid's white trash women to follow.

You've got to hand it to Dedee: She operates in broad daylight. Narrating her story with bald frankness, she tips us off from the outset that we're in for a bumpy ride. "I do not have a heart of gold, and I don't grow one later," she sullenly admits just moments after flattening her stepfather's fresh grave with a rock and a set of folding chairs.

Then it's toodle-oo to Creve Coeur ("that's French for fucked heart") and hello to the manicured Indiana manse of her 35-year-old gay half brother, Bill (Hollow Reed's Martin Donovan), and his space cadet toy-boyfriend, Matt (Ivan Sergei). Bill is an emotionally sedated English teacher who defends against life's sundry abuses by correcting his tormentors' grammar. Within days of Dedee's arrival, she has seduced Matt, dragged him off to father her child, and indirectly subjected the put-upon Bill to the career-destroying machinations of a predatory teen (Roseanne's Johnny Galecki) who claims to be Matt's other boyfriend.

Given Bill's disturbing Midwestern passivity, we'd explode from the accumulating outrage were it not for a one-woman Greek chorus by the name of Lucia, Bill's doleful work colleague and the sister of his late lover, Tom. …

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