She’s the Man
Film review by: Witney Seibold
O.k. I did it. I went to the theater. I sat in the dark with strangers to see She’s the Man. I sat through every last frame. I did it for you. I did it all for you! I HOPE YOU PEOPLE ARE HAPPY! (Sorry. Sorry. Deep breath. Think of calm things… O.k. I’m fine now…). Just for the record, She’s the Man, a teenage version of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, is not a horrible film (heck, the BBC themselves have done worse Shakespeare adaptations), it just would seem to appeal most to kids ages 9-14 who have little more than a passing familiarity with Shakespeare. Being a girl wouldn’t hurt either.
So. Some interesting things about Andy Fickman’s She’s the Man. Twins Sebastian (James Kirk)(Wait… like James T. Kirk?) and Viola (Amanda Bynes) are not separated by a tempest, but by his pissing off to London for a stint to work on his punk band. Viola uses this opportunity to disguise herself as her brother (and not “Cesario” as in the play) and take his place at his snooty boarding school in order to fulfill her own passion: soccer. The girl’s team was cut at her own school, you see. Plus, it will give her, a tomboy, the opportunity to escape from an upcoming debutante ball arranged by her doting mother (Julie Hagerty). Viola falls for her roommate who is actually named Duke Orsino (played by an actor who is actually named Channing Tatum), Duke has a crush on the school golden-girl Olivia (Laura Ramsay), and asks Viola to fling woo, but Olivia instead falls for Viola… well you probably know all of this stuff. There’s also a character named Malvolio in this film, but he’s a tarantula owned by Malcom (James Snyder). There are no Andrew Aguecheek or Toby Belch, but the rest of the cast broadly overacts anyway, so I don’t suppose we need the usual Shakespearean clowns. British tough-guy Vinnie Jones shows up as the boy’s soccer coach, and at least gets to steal away the play’s best line about having greatness thrust upon you. David Cross also makes an appearance as the annoying school principal.
A few things: After watching Amanda Bynes in this film, I have decided that I don’t really want to see her in any more films, but I would like to hang out with her. She throws herself into the ridiculous role with such aplomb, she has such passion, it seems like she’s make a good bowling buddy, or movie-going companion. She wasn’t entirely successful or funny in her role, but she was obviously having fun. Also, the teens looked a little old in the film, but, hey this is Hollywood. Oh, and Shakespeare himself does get a credit.
-March 17th, DreamWorks Pictures