The Opposite Sex and How to Live With Them (1992)

David (Arye Gross) is the type of skeevy dude who uses a periscope in a bar to spy on the legs of ladies walking past the bar, on the street outside.

Carrie (Courteney Cox) is a smart, successful woman who will have none of David’s pick-up tactics. Upon entering the bar, she smashes his hands with the foldable handles of the periscope and gives him a lecture about how he should see women for their whole selves rather than just their legs.

(Image via cineplex.com)

(Image via cineplex.com)

Rather than being put off by the fact that she’s offended by him, David falls for Carrie, and the two continue running into each other around the city. He works to redeem himself, and the two begin dating.

Meanwhile, their outspoken, snarky best friends, Eli (Kevin Pollak) and Zoe (Julie Brown) ride along on their relationship roller coaster, providing commentary on any speed bump encountered by the couple.

The Opposite Sex and How to Live With Them was directed by Matthew Meshekoff (Saturday Night Live) and written by Noah Stern (The Invisibiles).

I can’t quite decide how I feel about this film.

There are a number of things I like about it. The characters and their relationships are believable, as are the performances by the four main cast members. The transitional scenes, which include chalkboard illustrations (pointing to the fact that dating is a “game”) and lots of fourth-wall breakage, are a fun element that set this apart from other rom-coms.

The film also includes some light-fantasy-ish elements — Eli addressing the camera while wearing a cupid costume, Eli’s spirit showing up in a mirror to speak to David, a photograph of Carrie’s parents talking to David the first time he visits Carrie’s house. The fact that the two leads meet in a bar that has a periscope is enough to give the viewer a hint of some of the zaniness that this film will deliver.

The plot reminds me a bit of About Last Night…, what with the witty best friends constantly snarking in the ears of the leads, and the up-and-down trajectory of the David/Carrie relationship.

(Image via movpins.com)

(Image via movpins.com)

This film isn’t quite as enjoyable as About Last Night… though. Arye Gross and Courteney Cox, though they give solid performances, don’t have as much chemistry as Danny (Rob Lowe) and Debbie (Demi Moore). Additionally, their sidekicks of Eli and Zoe aren’t quite as charismatic as Bernie (Jim Belushi) and Joan (Elizabeth Perkins).

The script puts a bit too much effort into its humor, which tries for clever social commentary but often comes off as shallow instead. There are no big laughs here, though it’s not for lack of trying on part of the screenplay. For this reason, the film actually works best in its dramatic moments (the fights and break-ups).

While I wasn’t totally crazy about this film, I don’t regret watching it. It’s a decent flick, but I wouldn’t recommend it too highly. The score: 2.5/5

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2 thoughts on “The Opposite Sex and How to Live With Them (1992)

  1. Todd Benefiel says:

    It would seem to me the film would be more entertaining if it centered on Kevin Pollack and Julie Brown…I just can’t imagine Arye Gross and Courteney Cox being all that stimulating as a couple. And you’re right, Jim Belushi and Elizabeth Perkins would be a lot more fun to watch! And speaking of Belushi, have you ever seen ‘Return To Me’? I think you might like that one.

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    • Lindsey says:

      I haven’t seen that one, I’ll have to look it up! Belushi and Perkins have a great antagonistic relationship in About Last Night. I love that film as it exists but have always wished there was a companion film focused on their characters, haha.

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