She's the Man

Transferring Shakespeare to the high school environment is not new. 10 Things I Hate About You, O, and even Get Over It (where the students staged a version of A Midsummer Night's Dream) are some recent examples. Twelfth Night gets the teen treatment in She's the Man, a boring film that does little else except advance the career of Amanda Bynes. It's a pretty inane comedy that downplays the Shakespeare in favor of focusing on getting hot young actors into as little clothes as possible. The premise itself is highly flawed - Viola Hastings (Bynes, Robots, What a Girl Wants) masquerades as her twin brother Sebastian at a rival high school after her high school cuts girls soccer. Viola wants to prove that girls are just as good as guys at soccer, and wants to join the new school's team in order to play and beat her old school. Well, as soon as she's at her new school, it's obvious that she is not as good as the guys. Far from it. But that is asking a lot for a movie like this to have some modicum of intelligence.

Sebastian (James Kirk, Two for the Money, X-Men 2) is off to London for two weeks, allowing Viola the opportunity to impersonate him. As Sebastian, she barely resembles a guy. It's hard to believe that anybody would think that she is one, especially since she becomes entirely spastic. Viola acts so strangely, that everybody around her thinks she/he is nuts. This is where screenwriters Ewan Leslie, and Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith (Ella Enchanted, Legally Blonde) tried to throw in comedy. Viola is acting like what she thinks guys act like. She needs to talk like a gangsta and ogle women. All the while she practices for soccer.

But again, the source material is a bit more substantial. Viola falls for her roommate and team member Duke (Channing Tatum, Supercross, War of the Worlds), who happens to be shy around women. He has a huge crush on Olivia (Laura Ramsey, Venom, Lords of Dogtown), the school hottie. Olivia has a crush on Sebastian, who is really Viola. Worse, Sebastian's ex-girlfriend Monique (Alex Breckenridge, D.E.B.S., Big Fat Liar) is on the warpath, and keeps trying to talk to Sebastian/Viola. There's more, but it is of no consequence. Viola gets close to being caught multiple times, and somehow manages to get away every single time.

It's a surprisingly brainless adaptation of Shakespeare by director Andy Fickman. Everything is so inane. Bynes does have a lot of energy, and seems to enjoy the physical comedy aspects of She's the Man, but all her talents are wasted on such as stupid movie. It's like Martin Lawrence in Big Momma's House 2. He does not look like a woman. Viola does not look like a boy. Even a young one. Everybody is so superficial, and the script seems to look for excuses to get attractive teens naked. Heck, there's even flamboyantly gay male confidante (Jonathan Sadowski), something that hasn't been seen in a while. Thankfully, things move pretty quickly, and Bynes does rise above the material (every once in a while).

Haro Rates It: Not That Good.
1 hour, 45 minutes, Rated PG-13 for some sexual material.

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