Billy Jayne and Joyce Hyser in Just One of the Guys

She's the 80s Man

For those who have more recently watched Amanda Bynes in "She's the Man" and thought what an amusing idea, should realise that it was not that original. In fact go back to 1985 and we have "Just One of the Guys" another very similar movie about a young girl pretending to be a boy leading to plenty of cross dressing confusion. As such for those who watch "Just One of the Guys" now will recognize the story and know that the humour comes in two forms from Terry trying to act like a bloke and having feelings for Rick who she befriends whilst pretending to be a boy. And the romantic outcome is just as obvious because in many ways "Just One of the Guys" works through the text book for this sort of movie. But it is good fun even now 2 decades after it was released.

Not only is Terry Griffith (Joyce Hyser) stunningly beautiful, with a handsome older boyfriend but she is sure that the article she's written is going to win the writing competition and get her a summer job at the Sun-Tribune. So when she doesn't win she is sure it is because of sexism and she's been passed over for being a girl. So sure that she decides to cut her hair short and enrol at another school as a boy to prove her suspicions true by resubmitting the article. But whilst there she finds herself having to deal with Greg Tolan (William Zabka - The Karate Kid) the school bully, the overly amorous Sandy (Sherilyn Fenn) who fancies him and then there is Rick (Clayton Rohner) who Terry befriends but then finds herself having feelings for except of course no one can know that he is really a she, which is no easy feet when she also has to deal with Buddy (Billy Jayne) her little brother who has sex on the brain.

Joyce Hyser as Terry in Just One of the Guys

So as already pointed out anyone who has seen one of these cross dressing comedies will recognize the story and those who know their Shakespeare will also see a familiarity to "Twelfth Night", although unlike more recent updates of the Bard's works there is no clever referencing in names. As such whilst we have the lead up which sees Terry believing her sexist teachers passed her over in a competition to win a summer job what follows is routine. We watch as Terry dresses like a dude, takes lessons from her younger brother on such skills as scratching your balls and heads off to another school to prove her article was good enough and that it was sexism which lead to her missing out. Along the way she makes a friend, fends of the advances of an amorous girl and ends up falling for that friend all of which leads to the mess when the truth comes out. Well it is text book, and so there are no variations when it comes to the basic storyline.

And to be honest much of what we witness from Terry having to hide her double life from her arrogant boyfriend Kevin to fending off the advances of Sandy is what you will see in many of these movies. Don't get me wrong as it is still fun and with the now dated 80s fashions it is even a little funnier but there is barely a moment of humour which you won't have seen elsewhere. And I don't know what it is but watching a girl trying to act butch is so cringe worthy that some of the humour borders on the painful. But then despite all this formula the actual reveal when the truth comes out is revealing in more ways than one and after a movie which for the most is safe "Just One of the Guys" suddenly catches you by surprise.

To be fair whilst "Just One of the Guys" is really just a routine take on cross dressing confusion it is fun and is bolstered by some good casting. Joyce Hyser is hot as Terry, and being hot is important because it does make it funny when she then cuts her hair and dresses like a boy, at times freakishly looking like Chris Colfer from Glee. But Hyser's performance is more than just looking hot or slightly comical as a boy, the butch voice and continual attempts to hide the truth are fun. And then there is Billy Jayne as her sex crazed younger brother Buddy whose laid back charm is typically 80s making it even funnier now as is the case with Clayton Rohner who plays Rick. And you can add fun performances from other recognizable faces such as William Zabka, Sherilyn Fenn and Arye Gross although in fairness the school geeks are seriously a bit too much.

What this all boils down to is that "Just One of the Guys" is really just a routine cross dressing confusion comedy, basically the 80s version of the more recent "She's the Man". It is fun but it is also very obvious with little if anything which really makes it that memorable with maybe the exception of the scene when Terry's true identity is revealed.