Image Courtesy of Amazon.com
Laura Ramsey ………Olivia
Is it possible for a film to be completely ludicrous on its face with a mostly awful cast, bad dialogue and ham-fisted direction while still being entertaining? That’s the key question involving She’s the Man, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” as a vehicle for Nickelodeon star Amanda Bynes.
Bynes is Viola, a star soccer player whose school cancels their program right before the start of the season. Unable to join the boys’ team, she hatches a rather unorthodox plan. With her brother enrolled at a rival school, and ditching it to tour Europe with his band, she takes his place and impersonates him to try and fulfill her goal of playing college soccer. Crushing on her brother’s roommate Duke (Channing Tatum), she has to balance her feelings while in the middle of a very convoluted romantic relationship paradigm. And on its face it’s completely and utterly ridiculous, not working at all except for the fact that its star single-handedly carries it to an entertaining degree.
Bynes is charming and funny enough to make what is a very preposterous story and dialogue and turn it into gold. The situations that arise from here trying to be a guy, which would be relatively transparent in reality, are almost plausible with the sort of comedic touch she displays while doing them. While this certainly isn’t up to the task of a legendary performance it’s strong enough to make the film fly by. Out of all the teen actresses she’s competing with, the Lindsay Lohans and Hillary Duffs of the world, Bynes might not be the strongest actress but she’s easily the one with the best screen presence and comedic timing. In She’s the Man Bynes has to use everything in her arsenal to keep the film from self-destructing as a comedian; she’s also credible on the soccer pitch, looking the part of a top level athlete. It’s obvious she took the role seriously from how engaging she is.
She needs it in this film, which isn’t developed strongly. While the attention to detail to follow “Twelfth Night” is obvious, everything else about the film is pretty awful. The dialogue isn’t natural, the plot devices are mostly weak and the film seems to revolve around the ideal that Bynes can make a miracle out of a relatively poor setup. And for the most part it succeeds because Bynes carries the film remarkably well for someone of her age and experience. It may not be what William Shakespeare had in mind in an adaptation in terms of how his dialogue and story are mostly butchered but it’s doubtful he wouldn’t be pleased with the infusion of energy and vitality the setting provides.
Presented in a widescreen format, the film has a flawless transfer. With a clear picture and vibrant colors, the film comes through excellently.
Presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, She’s the Man has a rich and well-developed sound to it. With lots of music and a vibrant atmosphere in the film, that audio track is able to bring this out cleanly and well-separated.
Making the man is a typical “making of” featurette focusing on the film’s production on a relatively superficial level. There’s plenty of small bits about the training for the soccer scenes, as well as moments when little informational blurbs about the film come out, but there’s far too many self-congratulatory moments where everyone involved act as if they’ve reinvented the wheel with this film. While certain tidbits scattered inside are relatively interesting and enlightening there’s an excessive amount of the usual “everything is wonderful” EPK material that surrounds this type of featurette.
The Troupe is a featurette that focuses on the cast for brief moments. Running around eight minutes in length, it’s a rapid fire movement through principle members of the cast with sugary sweet comments from everyone involved on their cast members.
Inspired by Shakespeare’s… is a feature that focuses on how the film uses “Twelfth Night” and how they were able to incorporate the play into the film. Fickman discusses how he wanted to stay true to the play’s plot and themes while updating it for the modern set.
Deleted Scenes are the usual sorts of material not good enough for the film and there’s a reason why. It’s painfully obvious as to why as most of the scenes cut weren’t that funny or didn’t do much for the film’s story. There are three montages at the end which are interesting in a purely visual sense.
“Let go” by Dave Lichens is a music video with a song from the film.
Commentary by Amanda Bynes, Fickman, co-writer/producer Ewan “”Jack” Leslie” and Channign Tatum, Laura Ramsey, Robert Hoffman and Alex Breckenridge
Commentary by Leslie and producer Lauren Shuler Donner
Shakespeare, soccer and such trivia track
|InsidePulse’s Ratings for She’s The Man
||RATING(OUT OF 10)
||7.5(NOT AN AVERAGE)|