Teen comedies were dominated, and even defined, by John Hughes in the 1980s, and 1985 was no exception. Hughes kicked the year off with The Breakfast Club, then closed out the summer-movie season with the off-the-wall Weird Science. But Hughes was hardly alone in ’85. It was also the year Alan Metter taught us that Girls Just Want to Have Fun and Savage Steve Holland sent Lane Myer down the K-12 in Better Off Dead. With teen comedies thriving, Columbia Pictures wanted to get in on the action, opting for a retelling of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night entitled Just One of the Guys.
The movie almost never stood a chance at becoming a hit. In fact, according to the film’s co-writer Jeff Franklin, Just One of the Guys was only made because the studio was under fire for not having any female directors. Once released, it might have been forgotten had moviegoers not actually liked it. Yes, Just One of the Guys was a cheesy comedy with a bunch of twentysomethings playing high schoolers, but it did all right at the box office and found a second life on home video and cable. The film features some hilarious jokes, had one truly big reveal, and still resonates with confused teens.
To get to the bottom of why this unlikely classic still means so much to its fans, we spoke to stars Joyce Hyser, Clayton Rohner, Billy Jayne, and Toni Hudson, as well as director Lisa Gottlieb and writer Jeff Franklin for the 30th anniversary of Just One of the Guys. Sadly, Billy Zabka was unavailable, but we assume he was busy pushing his muscles to the very limit of human endurance.