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The Independent Culture
The Opposite of Sex (18) to rent

DON ROOS unashamedly relies on Christina Ricci to bring off his engaging comedy drama, but you can't fault his taste. Ricci was born to play DeDee Truitt, a monstrous 16-year-old homewrecker with her sights on the boyfriend of her gay half-brother, Bill.

She duly bags him, demolishing in the process every liberal piety by which all those around her live. Skipping town with Bill (Martin Donovan) in hot pursuit, DeDee is dismissive of the soft-centred attempts by him to understand, forgive and redeem her through compassion.

The cast works hard to ensure Roos's directorial debut is no one-trick pony. The fact remains, though, that whenever DeDee, who also narrates, is off-screen, the screenplay labours to throw up the next pc convention for her to lay into. It is as if Roos, having created this fille fatale, doesn't quite know what to do with her.

Pecker (15) to rent

It's not the degree of John Waters's trashiness that has won him his cult following, but the inimitable style of his execution. And Pecker, a mischievous satire on the status of `low art', shows he's perfectly aware of his place in the cinematic cannon.

Edward Furlong is the eponymous Baltimore photographer whose indiscriminate snapping of his low-rent life becomes the art world's flavour of the month. As ever, the dark eccentricities of American suburban life are what interest Waters. Todd Solondz mined much the same material for Happiness, but without any of Waters's infectious sense of fun. Furlong and Christina Ricci as Pecker's girlfriend exemplify this lightness of touch, mucking along with the customarily hammy supporting cast.