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The Opposite Of Sex Review

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Deedee splits from her mothers and then runs off with her gay half-brother's lover. She is then pursued across the country by a motley crew of neurotic if fundamentally decent characters.

★★★★

Meet Christina Ricci as Deedee Truitt, the year's most exciting female lead, a superbly original screen character who seems to combine the oddest aspects of Alicia Silverstone in Clueless and Linda Fiorentino in The Last Seduction. This sharp indie comedy follows a rather conventional sitcom format as a bunch of neurotic, lovelorn, witty, fundamentally decent characters are tossed together and sort each other out until a happy ending is achieved. The radical stroke is telling the whole thing from the point of view of a 16-year-old white trash sociopath who is constantly nasty to everyone and acidly amusing about them in her narration.

It opens with Deedee splitting from her mother - "My mother was the sort of mother who always said she was her daughter's best friend. I thought: Great! Not only do I have a shitty mother, my best friend's a loser bitch" - and moving in with her sensitive gay half-brother Bill (Donovan), whose lover she promptly seduces and runs off with, financed by money stolen from Bill. With his late lover's sister Lucia (Kudrow) egging him on, Bill pursues the pair across country, irked because Deedee has stolen a dead man's ashes, and Sheriff Carl (Lovett), who has a crush on Lucia, on their trail.

Director Roos realises he has created a winner in his central character and doesn't try too hard to be flashy in presenting her, though he gets amusing work from the befuddled Donovan and a whiny Kudrow. Ricci is a revelation, a convincing adolescent sexpot with a mile-wide mean streak that never cracks, engaging our interest with a succession of quotable put-downs and cynical sneers. With this performance, the former Wednesday Addams suggests she may be the first child star since Jodie Foster to graduate to grown-up stardom.

Sharp indie comedy with Christina Ricci terrifying, convincing an beguiling in the lead