And the movie sneak previews keep on coming. Tuesday night I saw She's the Man, an adaptation of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night set in the world of varsity soccer at private academies (naturally). I suppose it's a companion piece to 10 Things I Hate About You (which was The Taming of the Shrew applied to high school misfits) and O (the prep basketball version of Othello). And also proof that you can make this kind of movie without Julia Stiles.
Viola (Amanda Bynes) is upset when her school cuts girls' soccer and the coach doesn't let her try out for the boys' team. So she poses as her brother Sebastian, who's supposed to enroll at a rival academy but goes to London instead. Cross-gender hilarity ensues.
I noticed how careful the filmmakers were not to create any form of controversy. They made sure that the audience knew:
1. Even though she's athletic, Viola has a boyfriend.
2. They break up because he doesn't want her on the boys' team.
3. She has soccer scholarship aspirations, and resorts to posing as a boy only for the sake of continued play.
4. Her male friend uses his hairdressing skill to transform her.
5. Once a boy, she's never flirtatious with unsuspecting girls, even those attracted to her.
6. Sebastian returns just in time to receive a girl's affection, and respond to accusations.
7. Viola tells all, then gets to play soccer as herself.
In other words, they minimized the amount of, um, subtext. But some was unavoidable.