By Owen Gleiberman
Updated June 05, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

The Opposite of Sex, the first feature directed, as well as written, by Don Roos is free of the synthetic big-studio falseness that marked his scripts for Boys on the Side and Single White Female. This one traffics in a different kind of falseness — the smug, coyly blasphemous, aren’t-we-dysfunctional family-disaster chic that has become the most annoying trend in independent filmmaking since the Tarantino wannabes. Roos does have a knack for show-off zingers, and it’s fun to hear them pop out of the mouth of Dedee (Christina Ricci), an imperiously bratty 16-year-old vamp. Having seduced her gay half-brother’s buff lover (Ivan Sergei), she finds herself pregnant and marries the now converted ”homo.” The aggressive implausibilities escalate from there. Roos serves up twisted suburban farce, media scandal, even death with the same glib, airless detachment. He spreads attitude like margarine, so that performers as disparate as the feisty Ricci and the glum Martin Donovan are straitjacketed in his generic bitchery. C-

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