The Opposite of Sex

Director: Don Roos
Screenwriters: Don Roos

Institute History

  • 1998 Sundance Film Festival


Whether in spite of, or reaction to, the dulling effect of political correctness, there is a bold new movement in the independent film world. Comedies are leading the pack this year, and none is as refreshing as the darkly sardonic romp, The Opposite of Sex. Bill (Martin Donovan) is gay. An English teacher in a quaint Indiana town, he lives with his sexy new boyfriend Matt (Ivan Sergei), who is also gay (or so you would think) and spends time with best friend Lucia (Lisa Kudrow), the sister of his late lover. Enter Dedee (Christina Ricci), Bill’s sixteen-year-old half sister who comes from a lot farther than the wrong side of the tracks. Dedee, who makes Hayley Mills look like Saint Bernadette, arrives unannounced on her brother’s doorstep and wreaks havoc on the lives of everyone she encounters.

It is not surprising that the script for The Opposite of Sex is full of ironic, dry wit. Don Roos, an established screenwriter making his directing debut, knows how to extract comedy from the truth. He and the cast create moments that walk the line between camp and pathos. You don’t have to look too closely to find politics are not far beneath the surface. The film successfully exposes and plays with homophobia and human values on many levels in a humorous and entertaining way. In The Opposite of Sex, Roos pokes all our tender spots until he gets the reaction he wants.

Don Roos, Director
Born in New York in 1955, Don Roos began writing for television in 1981. His first produced screenplay, Love Field, was released in 1992. He also wrote Single White Female, Boys on the Side, and the remake of Diabolique. The Opposite of Sex is his directorial debut.

— John Cooper

Screening Details

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