What teenager doesn’t with that they could be something they aren’t? Maybe you wanted to be more popular, or maybe you wish you could get with more babes in your class, or be a jock or something. I don’t think it’s quite as common for teenage chicks to wish they were dudes though. The mid 80’s seemed like they had their fill of these types of movies, from 1985’s Just One of the Guys to the film I’m reviewing today, Paul Schneider‘s 1986 film, Willy/Milly.
Pamela Adlon plays Milly Niceman, a regular 14 year old girl who’s having a hard time with growing up, and changes that come with it. She feels like she doesn’t fit in, boys aren’t really interested in her, and her dad always really wanted a boy. She feels like she can’t do what boys can do, and when her best friend’s little brother Malcom (Played by a very young Seth Green) offers her a magic bottle of dirt that will supposedly grant her whatever wish she wants, she wishes to become a boy.
When she wakes up the next morning, she’s shocked to find out that she has a penis. She lets her parents know, and when they take her to the doctor, they can’t explain how this could have happened – she must have been like this her entire life. After some soul searching, Milly decides to become Willy, and live the rest of her life as a boy. This means that she’ll have to start at a new high school, because no one can find out that she used to be a girl. Seeing as how her parents were so understanding… Seriously, they basically just shrug it off. Anyhow, along with the new priveledges that come along with being a boy, her dad starts helping her out and teaching her how to be a man, spitting, swearing and fighting. Soon Willy falls in with a new crowd, and has to fend off the babes, including her former best friend, and has to put up a whole new set of problems, including bullies and peer pressure. The fun might never end, except for the fact that Willy thinks she might be falling for one of her new best friends. What is a he/she to do?
Like I said, this seemed like a pretty cliched idea in the mid 80’s, and honestly, Just One of the Guys is a much better film. Willy/Milly just ends up being predictable, and for a comedy it isn’t very funny. While there are a few laughs to be had, none of the jokes ever really hit their mark. If I was 14, this would have been a film that I would have been anxious to see, but I think even my young teenage self would have felt some disappointment after seeing this. It’s not an awful film, but it strives for mediocrity. One of the bright spots was seeing Eric Gurry (one of my favorites from the 1983 flick Bad Boys) as Alfie. I’m beating a dead horse at this point, but if you’re in the mood for some gender bending 80’s teen high school action, check out Just One of the Guys, you’ll probably enjoy that a lot more.