Just One Of The Guys (1985)
Gender-bender full of splendour
We live in very uncertain times. The economy is in the toilet. Mother Nature is hurting. Hell, some believe the world could soon be coming to an end. Thankfully, there is one thing we can count on. Nearly every year, we can look forward to a laugh-out-loud hilarious cross-dressing comedy.
Yes, the cross-dressing comedy is a Hollywood staple. It has generated hundreds of millions of dollars, most of which has gone to buying cars and swimming pools for Martin Lawrence.
Choosing a favourite cross dressing comedy is quite difficult for me. You may as well ask me which of my children I love the most. But if I absolutely must do so, then I would have to pick the 1985 classic Just One of The Guys.
In Just One of The Guys, popular high school student Terri Griffith (Joyce Hyser) dreams of becoming a big-time journalist, much like the Cinema Connoisseur. However, she feels she is not being taken seriously because of her beauty. The last straw comes when she is passed over for a newspaper internship.
Convinced that sexism is standing in the way of her dreams being fulfilled, Terri resorts to drastic measures. She enrols at another high school as a member of the opposite sex.
From there, hijinks ensue. Just to get off topic for a second, why has there never been a film called Hijinks Ensue? Well, the Columbia Pictures Corporation would have been justified using that title for this particular film. Ladies out there may think that passing yourself as a male is as simple as getting a short haircut and adopting the mannerisms of 1980s film star Judd Nelson. Well, that will get you most of the way, but then you might run into some obstacles.
Such as gym class. Terri must come up with a variety of excuses to avoid having to share a change room or hitting the showers with her significantly hairier classmates.
Plus, what if you were to fall in love with one of your male classmates? Would you be surprised if I told you that this happens to Terri in this film? Sure enough, it does.
Terri becomes best broskis with Rick, a shy young man who is in need of some lessons on how to woo young damsels. Lesson number one: avoid using phrases like “young damsels.”
Terri promises to find Rick a suitable mate, but in reality, she sees herself as the girl of his dreams. Things get even more complicated when Sandy (Sherilyn Fenn), a hot-to-trot sexpot, begins to put the moves on Terri. Oh, what a gender-bending calamity! Sure, this was the era of Boy George and Fraggle Rock, but still, this was some pretty racy stuff for the time.
Things get ever wilder when Terri reveals the truth to Rick by flashing him at the prom. I vividly remember this scene from when I first saw it over 20 years ago. I was flipping through the channels one night when POW – naked breasts were plastered on my television screen during primetime. How is this possible, I wondered. Maybe I was getting an illegal satellite feed from France. I would then learn about City TV and their rather liberal use of censoring. God bless that station for teaching me more about anatomy than any Family Life course taken in a classroom.
Just One Of The Guys is a smart and sophisticated look at society’s attitude towards gender roles that is just as applicable today as it was when it was released 27 years ago. Watching this film is the equivalent to burning 27 bras. Plus it is significantly cheaper than doing that, and less likely to result in a public nuisance complaint.