Thursday, March 16, 2006

Or, what you will

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.


K-Lyn said...

Does this mean go or don't go? I admit I was too curious about this one. I really wanted to hate 10 Things but loved it. I guess since Heath got an Oscar nod recently we could be watching the next big thing. Help. I feel I need an excuse to see this and Shakespeare seems more like a reason not to.

Neel Mehta said...

Hard to say if it's worth paying to see. I thought it was safe but still funny. Amanda Bynes is a lot more normal and naturally funny than her famous counterparts. Some of my amusement was derived from noticing what a terrible boy she made.

Don't expect much from the male lead. As Duke Orsino, he offers a six pack and not much more.

One thing I failed to mention is how all the supporting teens look like younger versions of other actors. There's a Bradley Whitford, a Chris Evans, a Jude Law, a Chyler Leigh, and a David Arquette.

maisnon said...

I kept seeing the previews for "She's the Man" and I was skeeved out: in 1/2 the interview with the actors, they go on about how good-looking and *HOT* the cast is.

Mmmyeah, maybe that would work on me if I were in their target audience. Plus, from what I saw in the preview, Amanda Byrnes does NOT make a believable guy.

bdure said...

I think it's probably a bad marketing move. In Bend It Like Beckham, the door always seemed open for Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightley to share a little experimental kiss.

site said...

It won't actually have success, I consider this way.