The dynamics between men and women is a funny thing sometimes. Funny enough that it can spark an idea for a movie and turn it into something uniquely hilarious. These types of movies in which a seemingly innocent gender swap takes place tend to show the iniquities of both genders and how each one judges the other unfairly most times and shows a complete lack of understanding at others. Somehow the woman usually comes out on top and the man comes out looking kind of ridiculous but still somehow noble for trying to make it work in some vague, goofball manner. In this film however the woman takes the position of the man that’s attempting to figure things out, and it’s a pleasing switch that makes the film a bit more endearing.
When it comes to understanding one another men and women tend to get a lot of things wrong, but it usually only takes getting one thing right to make it all work out. So what makes Just One of the Guys one of the best 80s comedies ever?
It’s not really about gender.
I know that makes little sense, but hear me out. The main character, Terri, thinks that her writing isn’t being taken seriously because she’s a pretty girl. Unfortunately this is an issue in our world today as attractive women aren’t always given a fair shake as some people tend to think that their looks are everything they have. Once she makes the transition in the film however she eventually finds out that her writing is being rejected simply because it’s not up to the standards that are desired, not because she’s a woman. That kind of statement in a film is sorely lacking in movies on a regular basis and is a pleasing, as well as refreshing, message. If you can do the work then you deserve the praise, but gender and looks should have nothing to do with it.
The nerds can win out sometimes.
We’ve seen this acted out before, but it’s still nice to see. The strong and confident tough guys often pick on the nerds, the geeks, and the assumed weaklings. When Rick takes out Greg however it reminds people that the natural order is not the norm any longer. The assumed weaklings are no longer as much of a target as those that picked on them mercilessly for years seem to think. It’s not a call to arms for nerds, but more of a rallying cry that there’s no need to back down from bullies just to maintain the status quo.
Love makes allowances for a lot of things.
You might think that tricking a guy in this manner would get you booted from their life once the secret was out, but then you don’t know teen movies very well if that’s the case. Even in real life love tends to wash away a lot of the hurt and confusion that comes when mistakes are made and the truth is told. By the end Terri gets to have the man she loves and the dream job she wanted. In life as well as in the movies things have a way of working out.
Just One of the Guys is one of those films that you might forget after a while, but it’s worth watching again just to enjoy the nostalgic feelings it brings up.