She's the Man Movie Review

What is it about fancy prep schools that makes them the de facto setting for contemporary re-imaginings of Shakespeare? Something about the parent-free environs of the pretty and privileged makes it a completely believable breeding ground for Shakespearean turmoil of assorted varieties. This time, we get Twelfth Night, only it's (poorly) renamed She's the Man and involves fewer tropical islands and shipwrecks and more soccer and slapstick.

Viola (the preternaturally spunky Amanda Bynes) is a soccer star and wacky tomboy who's royally ticked when her school cuts the girls' team. The smug coach - and Vi's equally buffoonish boyfriend - refuse to let the ousted players try out for the boys' squad because girls are fragile and slow, or some other early-1980s-grade cutting-edge sexism. So Vi assumes the identity of her twin brother, Sebastian, who snuck off to London for a couple of weeks, to make the team at a rival boarding school and prove her point.

A requisite makeover montage later, and Vi shows up at Illyria Prep doing her best imitation of a guy. Actually, she is doing a chillingly successful reproduction of Jonathan Taylor Thomas circa his Home Improvement/Bop magazine heyday, but at least he was a guy. More or less. She looks about 12, and her efforts to lower her voice result in an accent that veers from Texan to Jamaican and into what can only be described euphemistically as "developmentally disabled," but still, a decently convincing boy. Albeit a spastic and socially inept one, given to zany histrionics.

She's the Man finds its feet when it leaves off with Bynes' "adorably wacky" antics and picks up Shakespeare's original shenanigans instead. Viola is trying to keep her mind on soccer, but it keeps drifting over to her dreamy roommate, Duke (Channing Tatum), who is in turn gaga for the luscious Olivia. Olivia, though, has taken a liking to Viola-dressed-as-a-man, and is willing to throw down with Sebastian's high-maintenance girlfriend for "him." These are hijinks of the finest grade, and they don't need the extraneous flailing and mugging to make them funny.

The movie is clearly seeking to match the sassy froth of 10 Things I Hate About You, but it's actually a hybrid between that and the forgotten camp of 1986's Just One of the Guys - and who ever thought that would get a second incarnation on the big screen? And I don't necessarily mean that as a slam - it may be guilty, but the pleasure and fun is certainly there, and if you were a fan of 10 Things, you're likely to be taken with this one as well. Bynes, a graduate of Nickelodeon super-stardom, is an endearing goofball who seems to enjoy parts where she makes a fool of herself while standing up for girl power. Her squeaky voice and hyper energy that will. not. stop. is surprisingly effective, assuming it doesn't make you want to shoot her. Unfortunately, the landscape of supporting characters runs the short gamut from the flamboyant to the absurd, with really only David Cross standing out with his shtick as the principal who is - no surprise here - clueless and really strange. But at least the bland, perfectly-sculpted hero wanders around without his shirt off often enough to give Viola a reason to fall for him.

Considering Hollywood keeps popping them out, there is clearly a market for these modern razzle-dazzle Shakespeares, presumably even if they do not star Julia Stiles. And even if the end result is slightly less Bard and rather more pre-teen dream, so what? If the squealing 7th grade girls at my screening were any indication, She's the Man has clearly nailed its target for adolescent-swoony frivolity.

Excellent 'do, ir.

Cast & Crew

Director :

Producer : , Ewan Leslie

Comments

She's the Man Rating

" OK "

Rating: PG-13, 2006

Advertisement

More Amanda Bynes

Amanda Bynes Reportedly Placed Under ‘Involuntary Psychiatric Hold’ In Los Angeles

Former Nickelodeon actress Amanda Bynes has been hospitalised on an 'involuntary psychiatric hold' in Los Angeles, reports TMZ. The gossip site reports that Amanda was...

Amanda Bynes Questioned By Barneys Security In New York For Alleged Shoplifting

Another day, another Amanda Bynes story. This time, the former child star was questioned by security at the clothes store Barneys for allegedly walking out...

Amanda Bynes Claims She's Engaged To 19-Year-Old Boyfriend

Amanda Bynes has announced she's engaged to her boyfriend, a 19-year-old named Caleb.Amanda Bynes is engaged - apparently!Read More: Amanda Bynes Spotted Behaving Strangely In...

Amanda Bynes Seen Behaving Strangely In LAX Airport Restaurant

Former child star Amanda Bynes has been hitting celebrity news headlines again in recent days. Having been caught up in a DUI charge in the...

Advertisement

Amanda Bynes Returns With Another (Suspected) DUI

In “where are they now” news this week, Amanda Bynes has found herself on the receiving end of a DUI. But wait – Amanda Bynes...

Amanda Bynes' Parents Only Found Out About Recent DUI Arrest Through The Press

Amanda Bynes' personal life seems to be spiralling out of control once again, and her parents don't even know about it. The former teen star's...

Amanda Bynes Arrested For Suspected DUI In Los Angeles

Actress Amanda Bynes looked like her road to a full recovery was going well until a recent incident that occurred in the early hours of...

Happy Birthday Shakespeare, Here's Five Unlikely Adaptations Of His Famous Works

Shakespeare might be celebrating his 450th birthday but the classic playwright is far from being irrelevant. Whilst his works have been adapted many times on...

Advertisement