Thursday, April 21, 2011

Just One of the Guys

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Just One of the Guys - 3 out of 5

After revisiting Tootsie a few days back, I decided I need to watch a film about a person disguising themselves as the opposite gender from the other perspective. Instead of watching a movie about a guy pretending to be a woman, I wanted to watch a movie about a girl pretending to be a guy and the first one that popped into my head was the 1985 comedy, Just One of the Guys.

The film's about a popular girl (played by Joyce Hyser) who aspires to be a professional reporter but believes that they fact she's of the feminine persuasion is holding her back in a testosterone-fueled man dominated society, so she decides to disguise herself as a man in order to win a competition to get a internship with her local newspaper. This makes sense, doesn't it? Anyone would do this right?

This movie is never really laugh out loud funny despite being billed as a comedy. However, you will find amusement watching it now as this is one of those films that perfectly embodies the 80's. You'll laugh at the stupid fashions that were considered hip or the hairstyles that the actors are sporting but what's the funniest part of this film is the one-dimensional, cliche high school characters that fill up the screen. You got your typical stuff: The Jock/Douche Bag/Bully (played by William Zabka, the bully from The Karate Kid), the Nerds, the Prom Queen, etc. And, also like your typical cliche high school film, everyone finds their soul mate in their graduating class and everyone is happy at the end.

However, there were two things I found EXTREMELY disturbing about this movie. Number 1) Joyce Hyser's character Terry has an uncomfortably close relationship with her brother (played by Billy Jayne). Not only are there scenes of them clinging to each other, there's also scenes where they openly talk about sex and Terry doesn't ask her brother (Buddy) to close his robe as he's dancing around the living room in boxer shorts. First off, sex ISN'T something I talk about with family because it's uncomfortable and none of their business and secondly, if I spotted a sibling or any other family member dancing around the living room in their underpants, I would immediately yell at them to put some clothes on before I cleaned my eyes out with soap and water. Their disturbingly close relationship was grossly unnecessary for the film.

Secondly, Number 2) Terry dressing as a man is disturbing. Not because of it's an experiment in gender roles or because I find the act of women dressing as men to be deviant but rather it's unsettling because despite her terrible impression of a man, characters in the film buy it--They believe that she's a dude. I realize it's just a movie but can I get a little dose of reality here? The voice the character chooses to go with sounds so much like a woman pretending to be a man, that it boggles the mind that there isn't a single character in the film asking, "Hey man, why do you sound like a chick impersonating a dude?" or even just blurt it out, "Are you a girl?" Combine that with the spastic walk Terry decides is "manly," it's clear that this act could only work in the world of movies. Either that or Terry attends a special needs school for the learning disabled.

While the story and jokes of the film aren't particularly funny, the fact it's a perfect example of an 80's film that makes this movie entertaining--especially when you realize this has a PG-13 rating despite a single shot--clear shot--of boobies, man the 80's were pretty lenient on nudity. In this day and age, a single boob shot can get you an R-rating.

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