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Roos, Don (b. 1955)  
 
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Roos wrote the screenplay for a remake of Diabolique (1996, directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik), another film that provided strong roles for women. Despite the star power of Sharon Stone, Isabelle Adjani, and Kathy Bates, however, the film was not a commercial success.

Roos next both scripted and directed The Opposite of Sex (1998), an independent film that Maslin described as a "busily plotted, nicely unpredictable sex comedy with a sarcastic edge."

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The story sees sixteen-year-old Dedee (played by Christina Ricci) leave her hometown of Creve Coeur (French for "heartbreak," although Dedee offers a rather more colorful translation), Louisiana and turn up on the doorstep of the tidy Indiana home of her 35-year-old gay half-brother (played by Martin Donovan), a sedate high school English teacher. She soon seduces and becomes pregnant by Bill's boyfriend, Matt (played by Ivan Sergei), and takes to the road again. Bill heads out in pursuit, accompanied by the acerbic Lucia (played by Lisa Kudrow), the sister of his previous partner, who died of AIDS.

Maslin praised Roos for his writing and directing skills as he "guides his lonely, smart-talking characters into relationships none ever thought possible," further noting that "the film's resolution gracefully repudiates all its poisonous talk, especially the stream of small-minded slurs about gay life that come from Dedee. Essentially generous, The Opposite of Sex winds up showing rotten little Dedee how little sense there is in stereotypes, and how varied and surprising love can be."

When Roos was initially trying to sell the script of The Opposite of Sex, he met with a lack of enthusiasm from potential backers, who worried that there might not be an audience for the film. Roos believed that it would appeal to "people who like sex, people who don't, people who understand about love, people who don't," noting wryly, "That's pretty wide really. But nobody really wanted to do the movie."

The Opposite of Sex did indeed find an appreciative audience. It was nominated for the Grand Special Prize at the Deauville (France) Film Festival and as Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen by the Writers Guild of America, and won the Literary Award of the PEN Center USA West in the screenplay category as well as two Independent Spirit Awards, one for Best First Feature and the other for Best Screenplay.

In a 1999 interview in The Advocate, Roos stated that prior to scripting Boys on the Side and The Opposite of Sex, "as a Hollywood screenwriter, I was used to disguising my gay characters as heterosexuals" because of in the film establishment. His use of an interracial attraction in Love Field, for example, was a way of talking about a love that dare not speak its name. Roos explained that he used women to stand in for gay men dealing with emotional conflict because "men are still stuck in that ridiculous '50s attitude. They're never allowed to play real fear or any kind of weakness. Women get to play all those feelings."

Roos's next film was Bounce (2000), a heterosexual love story. Because of the success of The Opposite of Sex, he did not have to deal with reluctant financial backers, but instead had a 35-million-dollar budget for the movie, which starred Ben Affleck and Gwyneth Paltrow.

With the big budget came unwelcome restrictions, however. Roos described his initial version of the film as "an uneasy picture," but after it was shown to a test audience in New Jersey, "they went and made it more middle class." Roos was very disappointed with the result, saying that he had "lost his voice" in the production because of the changes demanded by the producers.

"I can't work in a system where my job is not to offend people," he stated. "The trick is to make a film for so little money nobody cares."

The following year Roos served as the executive producer of All Over the Guy (2001, directed by Julie Davis), a comedy about four friends--a gay couple and a straight one--on an often bumpy road to romance. The assignment gave him the opportunity to work with his life partner since the mid-1980s, writer and actor Dan Bucatinsky.

Bucatinsky revised and expanded the script of his earlier two-person stage play featuring only a heterosexual pair because he felt that that story was too similar to "every other romantic comedy." Bucatinsky, who also starred in the film, hoped that the story of the characters might become a television situation comedy, but the ABC network, after commissioning a pilot episode, did not pick up the show.

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