But I think I’m really getting ahead of myself here. In the past week Jezebel has lovingly paid homage to and interviewed the female director of “Just One of the Guys,” the 80s teen girl-in-drag comedy. Slyly subversive yet steadfastly silly, the story followed a pretty student reporter who thinks she is being passed over for boys, so then dresses like one to prove her point. I loved this movie. Part of it was that it was played on a seemingly unending loop on HBO. As a pre-internet kid, I found out about the birds and bees, in large part, from our family’s pirated HBO signal. Let me tell you, learning about The Gay from premium cable can make for many, many confused years.
But that’s why a movie like “Just One of the Guys” meant so much to me, even though my full realization would come years later. It fucked with gender while acknowledging gender inequality and engendered my continual confusion of Ralph Macchio with a dapper butch girl.
As an aspiring writer (yes, even back then), I sympathized intrinsically with Terry’s predicament. The injustice! The sexism! As an aspiring gay (but, again, it took me forever to figure it out), I was unmistakably drawn to Joyce Hyser more in drag. Not because she looked like a boy, but because she looked like a really cute girl in boys’ clothing.
Which brings me back to the boob flash. Holy shit, the boob flash. Teen movies have never been shy about their lusty intentions and love of the jiggle. So a little skin is almost always to be expected. But the unexpectedly feminist narrative behind “Just One of the Boys” makes the scene so very powerful and so entirely unforgettable. In fact, at this moment, when declaring her femininity and love all at once, it almost seems a radical act. Also, damn, those are some really nice breasts. [Again, NSFW – but you know you can’t resist.]
p.s. Don’t even get me started about the Sherilyn Fenn and the sock scene down the pants scene. We could be here for days.
p.p.s. Joyce Hyser, call me. And bring the tux.