Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Just One of the Guys (Lisa Gottlieb, 1985)

Sexual politics, teenage horniness, and cheap thrills clash in the wonderfully mellifluous Just One of the Guys (a.k.a. Laß mich mal ran! Als Junge ist sie Spitze!), a film that takes gender swapping and genital identity to a whole new level of hilarity. Usurping the usually male dominated arena that is the '80s teen comedy, this thoughtful movie tells the mildly inspirational story about Terry Griffith (the gorgeous Joyce Hyser), an aspiring journalist who feels her schoolwork is being undermined by her smouldering lips, shapely legs, and foreign object-free rectal cavity. Thus, to prove her point, Terry transfers to another school and poses as a boy. Now, that may seem like an extreme measure to take just to establish that your teacher is a sexist pig, but in a world where people are evaluated solely by the calibre of their complexion, a restrained flirtation with adolescent transvestism is sometimes the sanest possible recourse one can take when backed into a corner by societies silly rules and regulations. The film, directed by Lisa Gottlieb, has a lot to say about sexism, issues involving gender, and dating. But if this movie was just a single shot of Joyce Hyser sleeping in her underwear, it would still rock. Half-assed attempts at profundity aside, the film is an amusing slice of chromatic daintiness that doesn't take itself too seriously. I mean, how serious can a movie be that features a scene where a guy teaches his sister the proper way to scratch her nonexistent testicles?

The "guy" in question is Buddy, Terry's younger brother, and I must say, he is one of the funniest characters I've come across in quite some time. Played with sleazy aplomb by Billy Jayne, Buddy is lustfulness personified. Seriously, I've never seen someone this horny onscreen before. He was literally molesting everyone he came in contact with. Oh, and speaking of which, I couldn't have been the only one who thought he was gonna cop a feel as his sister awkwardly climbed the stairs. Weird, wild stuff.

The real key to the success of Just One of the Guys, however, hedged on Joyce Hyser's believability as a boy, and I thought she pulled it off quite well. Utilizing her New York accent and employing a slight swagger when she walked, Miss Hyser's male mannerisms were so convincing at times, that even I wanted to make out with him. (I'm not 100% sure if that makes sense or not, but it feels like it does.)

Anyway, the friendship she/he forms with Rick (Clayton Rohner) was really sweet, as the scenes where Terry helps him to get a date for the prom brought me a small amount of joy.

Extra thought: Deborah Goodrich (Remote Control) and Sherilyn Fenn play the students who take a liking to Rick and Terry (I felt so sorry for them - yeah, right). Deborah, who looked like a candy cane in one scene and then a sweet lemon Popsicle in another, gave the impression she wanted to be licked throughout the film. While Sherilyn, on the other hand, bedazzled the audience with leopard print dresses and fingerless arm stockings. Oh, and I liked how all of Toni Hudson's clothes and accessories matched.



  1. Didn't one of the girls say of Terry "he's so Ralph Machio"?

    I liked this one a lot too. It was surprisingly good, particularly for having no real '80s film royalty attached, behind or before the camera. And yes, Buddy was definitely mauling everything in a skirt. I am sure his character now runs a low-class strip club :-D

  2. "All balls itch, it's a fact!" Definitely, my favorite movie of all time. I heart Zabka and Rohner.