Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 26
  2. Negative: 1 out of 26
  1. A movie that has an odd plot, quirky characters and a real edge, but it's not in-your-face, a re-invention of a genre or a smirky independent. It's different because it's flat-out great.
  2. 100
    Sex holds in perfect tonal balance, and without cynicism, a brew of maliciously transgressive comedy and tender sympathy for its tortured characters, all gripped by terror of love, or sex, or both.
  3. Reviewed by: Kristine McKenna
    100
    A brilliantly written black comedy in the tradition of "To Die For" and "Flirting With Disaster," The Opposite of Sex was worth the wait.
  4. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    100
    This is a declaration of love: The Opposite of Sex is the smartest, edgiest, most human and handsomely acted romantic comedy in elephant years.
  5. Reviewed by: David Denby
    90
    Dedee is a great, entertaining caricature, an updated teen version of a forties-noir seductress and murderess -- Lana Turner without corsets... Ricci possesses a devastating way with a nasty line; she could curdle mother's milk from 30 paces.
  6. Reviewed by: Tom Keogh
    90
    [Roos's] dialogue (including an on-and-off voiceover by Ricci's pregnant, runaway sociopath) has a ringing clarity, his satire is low-key but quite real, and his actors mesh so perfectly you'd swear they rehearsed for months before shooting.
  7. 88
    The kind of daring feature that doesn't open every Friday at the local multiplex; its frank, sometimes politically incorrect approach towards the act and politics of sex is refreshing.
  8. What redeems the film's surface bitterness are sharp observations, laceratingly funny dialogue and something Dedee claims to find especially loathsome: a secret heart of gold.
  9. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    80
    A truly unformulaic comedy of lust and greed, a farce that seems to write itself, slap-happily, as it goes along.
  10. 78
    Even some third-act deus ex machina scrambling can't homogenize the film's darkly cynical punch. Tough as nails and twice as hilarious, it's a remedy for summer treacle.
  11. 75
    The De-Dee character subverts those expectations; she shoots the legs out from under the movie with perfectly timed zingers.
  12. Reviewed by: Dave Kehr
    75
    Opposite attracts with its wit.
  13. Reviewed by: Ruthe Stein
    75
    The best scenes are of people talking -- and that's not just because the lines are so good. Roos doesn't seem to know what to do with his characters when they aren't blabbing.
  14. 70
    The wonder of it all is how bitterly funny the complications are, especially as filtered through Dedee's monstrously self-centered voice-over.
  15. Reviewed by: John Hartl
    70
    For all the cynicism on the soundtrack and the occasional lapses in tone, this is a remarkably generous comedy.
  16. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    70
    Roos’ talent for vivid, jump-off-the-screen dialogue remains unquestioned, but his direction is considerably more spotty.
  17. You'll laugh, though you might hate yourself in the morning.
  18. Reviewed by: Ron Wells
    60
    It's an excellent date film, but it won't change your life.
  19. For all Ricci's zingers, the actress who gets the most laughs here is Kudrow, who has an amazingly right-on offbeat comic sense and rhythm. Playing a bright, sexually repressed Indiana teacher, she displays priceless timing. [19 June 1998]
  20. Uneven but always energetic and sometimes very funny.
  21. 50
    The opposite of entertainment, a self-satisfied soap opera from hell. But anyone itchy to see Ricci in her fleshy glory will adore her femme fatale for the Jerry Springer age, a Stanwyck stoked on steroids and SweeTarts.
  22. Traffics in the coyly blasphemous, aren't-we-dysfunctional family-disaster chic that has become the single most annoying trend in independent filmmaking.
  23. 40
    Consistently clever without ever being funny. The film is so in love with its own carefully calibrated outrageousness that it doesn't bother to give its characters any depth beyond sitcom-level stereotypes.
  24. 40
    This 1998 movie is essentially a compilation of things-aren't-what-they-seem games played on the viewer; all its little tricks, including Ricci's snide and smart-alecky voice-overs about movie conventions, are really old--except one. But it's not worth the wait.
  25. Very much like sex. On second thought, make that bad sex. Actually, sexual assault is more like it. It will leave you feeling used, bruised, violated, mistrustful and unclean.

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