For some people, High school is a faint (and luckily) distant memory. For others like me, it was only two years ago. But sadly, I loved high school. Of course I hated being a fresh-meat but once I was a senior, I ran that place! And because of my odd relationship with high school, I have a soft spot for high school movies. Case in point: Just One of The Guys.
This hidden gem was lost among the Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club craze. It tells the story of headstrong, ambitions Terry, a teenage journalist set on getting a summer job at a local newspaper. So she does what any normal girl her age would do: go undercover at a different high school as a guy.
Her brother says it best: “Got a problem, get in drag!”
This movie is the quintessential film about the differences between “male” and “female” fashion in the 80’s. It was really pushing boundaries and questioning the ideas about what is guy appropriate or girl worthy.
For example “girl” Terry, starts off being very pretty in pink. Lots of accessories, short skirts, lace, florals, and bows. She is the picture perfect girl. Everyone knows she a good writer, but they suggest that it would be a better idea if she tried to be a model or something “easy.” But Terry is determined to be taken seriously.
When Terry decides to start playing for the other team, she takes notes from the guys around her. There’s Buddy, Terry’s horn-dog of a little brother, who looks like a cross between a wannabe Van Halen and the Karate Kid. Although he is a bit perv, the only crime he has ever committed is denim on denim fade.
There’s also her country-club boyfriend Kevin, with his muscles, slicked back hair and polo shirts.
Then there’s sweet and lovable Rick, the only real man in this whole movie. He’s a James Brown fan and he dresses the part too, with 1950’s swagger and a pinch of radio DJ sloppiness.
When Terry makes the final switch to the dark side she cuts her hair short. When she’s “boy” Terry, it’s parted and slicked back.
When’s she “girl” Terry she roughs it up and poufs it out. Her wardrobe means neutral shades, ties, checkered patterns, and long pants. She’s a natural Elvis Costello dreamboat.
I love this movie because it outs the old stereotypical ideas about whose clothes are whose. Today, girls and guys play with each other’s looks without even thinking in about it, proving once and for all that fashion has no gender ties!
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