Sunday, April 12, 2009

Just One of the Girls (1993)

AKA Anything for Love
Directed by Michael Keusch
Starring Corey Haim, Nicole Eggert
Rated R

"This is all your fault. You wouldn't let him play with guns."

Further proof that it was still the 80's in Canada until at least 1997, Just One of the Girls is a gender-flipped take on 1985's boy-is-girl classic Just One of the Guys, only this one substitutes Joyce Hyser's amazing rack for Corey Haim in a cheerleader outfit. Crazy Canucks. Four years past his last (modest) hit Dream a Little Dream, and clearly suffering from Two Coreys separation anxiety, a 22-year old Haim stars as...well, Corey Haim, really. His character, Chris, is amiable but dimwitted, just like the real thing. He's obsessed with keyboards and the horrible 80's synthpop they're capable of (again, just like Haim), and Nicole Eggert is his love interest. I can imagine the pitch:
"It's the Corey Haim Story, only with cross-dressing!"

You know, if that kid stayed off drugs, he would've never made movies like this.

Just One of the Girls is so alarmingly childish that you really wonder whether it was originally written for actors ten years younger. The story - Chris vs. the neighborhood bully - seems like something out of a Little Rascals episode. Dad gives his spindly son boxing lessons in the basement, but, lacking the guts to take the lumbering giant in the Metallica shirt on, he opts for more drastic measures: borrowing his sister's clothes and dressing in drag to safely get through the school's front door every morning. In what crazy universe (besides the 80's teen movie universe, of course) would this be a viable option to a bully situation?

Surprisingly, given that he looks like Corey Haim in lipstick, Chris manages to saunter right past his tormentor wearing a wig and a polka dot dress. Not surprisingly, given the confused sexuality of most high school bullies, Kurt-the-asshole (Cameron Bancroft) finds himself powerfully attracted to this mysterious new boy-girl.
"Give me a week," he says to his cronies, after Chris/Chrissy rebuffs his advances.
So, that's creepy.

Chris has just transferred to this new school, so no one, save for his childhood chum Dan (Gabe Khouth) actually knows who he is. After all, his name is "Chris", right? That could go either way. Never mind that his school records would clearly mark him as a male, or that it's fucking obvious he's a boy. Chris just wills himself into the land of the ladies, and so it is done.He makes fast friends with cheerleader Marie (Nicole Eggert) and then tries to negotiate his way out of gym class. Dan forges a doctor's note, so his gym teacher, Ms Glatt (Rachel Hayward, Breaking All the Rules) puts him on locker-room mop duty.

Crazily, given the squeaky-clean proceedings thus far, the locker room soon fills up with nude girls, providing us with several sets of perky boobs as well as a few flashes of full-frontal. Chris can't take it, and promptly passes out. I don't blame him, really. Nothing is fresher than Canadian cantaloupes.

Marie encourages Chris/Chrissy to join the cheerleading squad. Since Chris wants to bone Marie, he agrees, and they start spending a lot of time together. Turns out, Marie is Kurt-the-bully's sister, so that's happening, as well. At one point, Chris is over Marie's house studying when Kurt barges in and starts hitting on the drag-princess.
"Kurtis, Blow!" Says Marie. It's the funniest line in the film, by far.

So, then you get to watch Corey Haim shave his legs. But, right after, you get to watch the girls' gym class jog in very bouncy slow motion. So it's a pain/pleasure sort of segment. Ms Glatt notices the thin line of drool on Chris/Chrissy's lower lip, which means either the jig is nearly up, or that she thinks there's a teenage lesbian in her ranks. She schedules a meeting after class to figure out what's going on, and he accidentally admits he's a boy, but then conjures up a backstory about trying on his sister's dress when he was 11, and the confusing mess his life's been ever since. Teach, being the understanding type, offers to counsel him, and to keep his identity secret. He's no longer allowed in the girl's locker room, however.

And so on. Dad finds a bra in Chris's room, and thinks he's gay. Ms Glatt is sure he's a mixed-up transvestite. Kurt wants to fuck him, regardless of what he's packing under his skirt. Marie has no idea her best friend is a dude. Clearly, this flimsy house of cards cannot stand. One night at cheerleading camp (!), Chris/Chrissy tries to kiss Marie, and things quickly devolve into low-grade mayhem from there. Don't worry, though. It's Canada. They're quite liberal up there, so everything works out in the end. In fact, Alanis Morrissette even shows up to jam with Haim!

There are exactly two reasons to watch this lame movie: the aforementioned shower scene (neatly clipped out of TV prints, which is where most people saw this), and Nicole Eggert in a cheerleader outfit.

I imagine it might be some sort of cult item among teenage transvestites, but T&A fans will just walk away woozy. At one point, when a justifiably pissed-off Marie faces off against her former best friend-turned sleazeball dude, Haim looks at the ground and says, "Maybe I'll get it right in the next life."

So far, the next life still looks like his best bet.
I'll keep rooting for him, though. He is my favorite Corey.

Availability: Just One of the Girls is available on DVD.

- Ken McIntyre

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