Just One of the Guys (1985) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna

Scoop's notes in white:

The mid 80s were the Golden Age of school-oriented comedies and light "triumph of the underdog" dramas. The 1983-87 era produced Revenge of the Nerds, Risky Business, Better off Dead, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, One Crazy Summer, The Karate Kid, and Back to School, as well as a slew of minor films like Just One of the Guys and Nerds in Paradise. These films made stars of John Cusack, Tom Cruise and Matthew Broderick.

The youthploitation films of that era have many common elements:

  • The nerds, outsiders, and outcasts must eventually triumph over the rigid caste system.

  • William Zabka is often the one-dimensional evil jock who must eventually get his comeuppance.

  • Curtis Armstrong is often our hero's nerdy best friend.

Just One of the Guys has all the usual suspects except Curtis Armstrong, who didn't really fit in because our hero is a girl.

A high school senior girl feels that she has been denied a chance to win a journalism contest simply because she is a girl. Therefore, following the official logic of movie students, she transfers to another school, changes her hair and clothing, and re-submits her article as a guy. She finds that being a guy isn't as cool as it seems, especially when she is pursued by a horny girl, and falls in love with a guy who thinks she's another guy.

It isn't any better than it sounds, but it isn't any worse either. Although it fails to rise to the level of the best films listed above, it is a cute enough film which mines some easy laughs with weird minor characters and predictable situations.  I didn't really get absorbed in it, and it never raises itself to a level of either great truth-seeking or great comedy, but I didn't feel an urge to grab the remote while I watched, mostly because Joyce Hyser is quite believable and sympathetic as Teri/Terry.


see Tuna's comments

Tuna's comments in yellow:

Joyce Hyser plays a high school student who believes she failed to win a summer internship with a newspaper because she is female. She decides to enroll in a different high school as a guy and win the contest from there. OF course, things don't go quite as expected, and she falls in love with a guy at the new high school. That is essentially the entire plot, although the script is padded out to 90 minutes with  a lot of strange characters, such as Trekkies, a kid with a thing for reptiles, and a jock/bully. The film also tries to get as much mileage as possible out of the central character's problems with dressing for phys ed and using the men's room.

DVD info from Amazon

  • no features, no widescreen, mediocre transfer

At the end, Hyser exposes her breasts to the guy she has fallen for, because she can't otherwise convince him that she is really a she. The clear shot of her beautiful breasts represents an excellent level of nudity for a PG-13 film. This is not only the climax, but clearly the real high water mark of the film.

The Critics Vote ...

The People Vote ...

  • It was a minor success, grossing $11 million off a modest budget.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a C-. (Both reviewers call it a watchable but unexceptional genre film.) Tuna says, "Call this a coming of age comedy that scores well with the school age set, but doesn't really offer much substance for anyone too far past puberty."

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