8:10 PM, 27th February, 1999
Christina Ricci (Buffalo 66, The Ice Storm) is Dedee Truitt, a 16-year-old package of trouble with a highly developed wit (which she is not afraid to use), a highly developed body (ditto), and a completely underdeveloped sense of morality and ethics. Upon her stepfather's death, she runs away, making a beeline for the interstate home of her older half-brother Bill, a gay schoolteacher. After she manipulates her way into his home, she sets her aim a little lower and goes after his sexual partner, Matt (Ivan Sergei of Dangerous Minds).
Writer/Director Don Roos (Boys On The Side) keeps us involved in his complex plot by having the trashy-mouthed Dedee narrate throughout the entire film. It is an odd narration, but it works for the film. Christina Ricci does a marvellous job in her role as a bad little girl who promises not to get any better. "I don't have a heart of gold and I don't grow one later" she tells us in her opening narrative. Lyle Lovett (Short Cuts) makes an appearance as Carl, the cop who befriends Bill and Lucia (while looking and acting exactly like ... Lyle Lovett). The Opposite of Sex has a witty script that is very humorous in its offbeat way. It also has excellent acting and directing. 18 year old Ricci had appeared in no less than 19 movies before this one, at least 4 since, and is writer/director of Asylum, due for release next year. She will go far.
8:20 PM, 27th February, 1999
Let's put on a Show!
The enterprising councillors from the City of Blaine, Missouri, after deliberating on where to position the garbage bins for the town's Sesquicentennial celebrations (and how many marksmen are needed on the town hall roof for security), decide to mark the great occasion by commissioning a stage musical of the city's history. Corky St Clair, the effervescent high school drama teacher with an impressive record in off-off-Broadway productions in New York, and recent Blaine Amateur Dramatics productions (such as 'Backdraft the Stage Play') still burning fresh in everyone's minds, is the unanimous choice as director.
Corky (Christopher Guest, who directed and co-wrote) now sets out to cast and rehearse the play and discovers a surprising depth of hidden talent. With rehearsals underway, Corky hears that big-time New York producer Morris Guffman has accepted his invitation to attend the show. 'We're going to Broadway!!!!!' (Well perhaps).
Guest is most well known for his role in This is Spinal Tap as Nigel ('eleven') Tuffnel, and while his camp Corky is different, the films are of the same type, both being in the 'mockumentary' style and playing it fairly straight. Guest and co-Tappers Michael McKean and Harry Shearer have combined to write the music and lyrics of the Blaine musical excerpts we see performed, with the highlight being the piece about Blaine's moment of prosperity, when for a time it was 'Stool Capital of the World'.
This is not a film of huge laughs and great moments, but rather one of subtle observation, extending the clichs of theatre, sending up the Broadway musical styles and parodying the types that exist in any drama group. Members of such drama groups and lovers of average 50's and 60's musicals should pick up on most of the in-jokes, though outsiders to this world should still find it of some amusement.