Ever seen a teen movie where the main character does something crazy to prove themselves, makes a few friends and then a few enemies and somehow falls in love in the end? She’s the Man is not a whole lot different, give or take a few gender misunderstandings.
Viola’s (Amanda Bynes) first love is soccer, but when her school cuts the girls’ soccer program she has a plan.
She decides to stuff a sock down her pants and pretend to be her brother Sebastian at his boarding school. It’s her best bet at getting back on a soccer team and proving she can play with the best.
Along her (or his) journey, Viola falls in love with her roommate Duke (Channing Tatum) and becomes the object of affection of the “hottest girl in school” Olivia (Laura Ramsey).
Despite its mild corniness, She’s the Man, originally inspired by Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, was a cute movie. Amanda Bynes did a good job showing Viola’s struggle between her female instinct and the stereotypically sex-driven, pubescent teenaged boy. Seeing Bynes in this movie reminded me of the days of the comedy show All That on Nickelodeon.
Characters for whom teen stars are first known for are never really gone, but simply evolve along with their careers. The same can be said for Bynes.
Bynes wasn’t the only amusing character that made this film funny. And collectively the whole cast had really good chemistry. Robert Hoffman, who plays Justin, can be seen on MTV’s hit show Wild’N’Out.
During a recent Philadelphia press conference for the movie, Hoffman said that his comedic experience showed through in She’s the Man, and his background in dance helped him to play Justin, who was an award-winning goalie in the movie.
The press conference itself was somewhat disappointing. The room was filled with teenage journalists and their parents, with time for only one question.
Still, it was a chance for me to study the actors.
Seeing Bynes in person made it obvious that her personality is somewhat like the hyperactive characters she plays. When asked what helped her to play Sebastian, Bynes recalled when an ex-boyfriend played her a repulsive song by the parody singer Jack Black.
“Is this how guys really think?” she said, referring to Black’s unusually crude lyrics. Nonetheless, she used the thought to arouse her male counterpart for the film.
She’s the Man has a specific target audience, and college students are not that audience, unless you’re with your younger sister.
Yet the film is still worth seeing, and one that makes girls wish life really was like it is in the movies – even if they have to dress up like a boy every once in a while.
Jena Williams can be reached at email@example.com.