A light, high concept comedy from the 80s, Just One Of The Guys still has some fans to this day and it’s certainly miles away from the worst that the decade ever gave us.
Joyce Hyser plays Terry Griffith, a girl with everything. She does well at school, she has a prize catch of a fella, she is popular and she doesn’t really want for anything. Except for a way to have her journalism taken seriously. When her article is passed over in favour of others, Terry starts to consider that she is not being taken seriously because she’s a girl. To prove this, she masquerades as a boy, with the inevitable complications that ensue.
Just One Of The Guys is one of many, many mildly amusing comedies from the 80s that is as forgettable as it is passable. Directed by Lisa Gottlieb, and written by Dennis Feldman and Jeff Franklin, it has nothing to make it a movie that would ever be anyone’s favourite.
The cast are all good enough. Hyser may not convince when wearing her male disguise but she’s sweet and easy to root for. Billy Jayne gets a lot of great little moments as the annoying younger brother revelling in his sister’s complicated fraud. Clayton Rohner is acceptable as the nice guy oblivious to Terry’s growing feelings for him and William Zabka is a great bully, easy to loathe from his first moment onscreen.
While the whole movie centres around Terry’s charade it actually doesn’t make the most of the premise (with one scene in the school gymnasium changing rooms proving to be the best when it comes to mixing the awkwardness of the situation with the comedy) and plays out, for the most part, like any other 80s teen movie featuring two friends who have to tough things out when one falls for the other.There’s a surprisingly gentle approach when it comes to mixing the bawdy in with the more rom-com moments and that’s a bonus, particularly for a movie from this era, but it’s just not enough to elevate it above the average. Okay, maybe it’s just ever so slightly above average.