Written by Dennis Feldman and Jeff Franklin
Directed by Lisa Gottlieb
Starring Joyce Hyser, Clayton Rohner, Billy Jacoby, Toni Hudson, William Zabka
Released by: Columbia/TriStar Home Entertainment.
Anamorphic: No; full frame only.
My Advice: Rent something better.
By high school standards, Teri (Hyser) has it made: she’s cute and popular, has a college-age boyfriend, and wonderful prospects. The last part is put in doubt when she loses out on an important newspaper internship. She reasons that it can’t be because she stinks as a writer, it must be because She’s A Woman. She further reasons that she must do something outrageous to get the job.
[ad#longpost]Through some convoluted line of so-called logic, she plans to masquerade as a guy at another high school and find out how the other half lives–and masquerade as a guy. Her permanently horny brother Buddy (Jacoby) and her best friend Denise (Hudson) help her with the moves and the attitude and she manages the pitfalls of gym class and peeing standing up with skill. She starts to stumble when she meets Rick (Rohner). He thinks he and “Terry” are good friends, but Teri is feeling more than that. Will she admit all to Rick or will she remain Just One of the Guys?
This movie is on the low end of the 80s teenage sex comedy totem pole where its trademark mix of smuttiness and naivetÃ© leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth. Now most movies of this genre were quite formulaic, but good performances or good writing helped some films become classics. This is not one of them. We have tired sex jokes about “getting some” and tired crossdressing jokes about “adjusting the sock.” Frankly the whole “sock in the pants” gag gets old quick. The characters are cut and pasted from the High School Tool Kit where you get the Jock template, the Nerd template, and so on. With no real development or depth, you couldn’t care less about them or their manufactured trails and tribulations.
The plot is the epitome of contrived. The parents just happen to be out of town, Teri just happens to attract the amorous attention of a popular girl, and she just happens to make friend with a guy who is a possible love interest. There is no rhythm or reason, just a collection of set pieces to set up jokes. And since the jokes aren’t that funny, this makes the plot look even shabbier. The whole movie is a waste.
Columbia-TriStar must have thought so too. I can understand not having features on this thing. Fine. No commentaries, no behind the scenes bits…hell, a small ten-minute bit on crossdressing in cinema would have been amusing enough. But they put the thing out in full-frame only, which we don’t wish on any film. So find something else to watch besides Just One of the Boys.