What if, one day it turned out you became the opposite sex? That’s what happens to Amanda Bynes in her new film, She’s the Man – by choice. When the girl’s soccer team gets cut at her high school, she decides she’s going to try to play on the boy’s team at a rival high school.
As her character Viola, Amanda pretends to be her twin brother, Sebastian, who’s in London living out his dream of becoming a rock star. But, one problem, she starts to fall in love with her roommate, Duke (Channing Tatum), who thinks she’s a guy. And there’s Olivia (Laura Ramsey), who begins to fall in love with Sebastian, who’s really Viola.
A real love triangle ensues, and it’s up to Amanda to try to keep up the double life. And truly, she does a great job. Growing up in the entertainment business, Amanda has lived in the public eye; however, she’s managed to pretty much live a normal life. And I think that’s what makes the 19-year-old have that cheery persona in this film! Her positive attitude brings a nice change to teen movies.
Through the film, Amanda changes from Viola and Sebastian in various places, in voice and costume. As crazy as that sounds, Amanda pulls it off, and the story gets cuter as she continues to switch back and forth. She’s the Man is based off Shakespeare’s play, The Twelfth Night, so the cast had to make sure they knew how to act their age and perform in a modern setting.
Director, Andy Fickman, had just come off of the cult classic Reefer Madness – yeah, quite a change from Shakespeare. But, Andy comes from a theater background, so it wasn’t much of a difference, but working with teens was.
Choosing a soccer setting, Andy’s first choice for the role of the boy’s soccer coach was Vinnie Jones – and he got him. If you don’t know, Vinnie was a major footballer (soccer star) in England, playing for Chelsea (rivals of Manchester United, just for clarification). And in 1987, Vinnie was most famous for grabbing some guy’s genital region during a match.
Ok, enough about Vinnie’s ball grabbing. After retiring from professional soccer, he got hooked up with Guy Ritchie and starred in Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. So in this film, he takes a back seat to the teens – and never even touches a soccer ball in this movie (which to me, is very disappointing). However, he based his character off of one of his former soccer coaches, so it wasn’t too surprising when in one scene he lashes out at the team.
Comedian David Cross plays the principal of the high school; it’s such a small part, but he makes his performance known. Every time he’s on screen, there is a laughable moment; he not only adds to the comedy, he surpasses it!
As a 27-year-old guy, I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this film! You don’t have to be a teen girl and a fan of Amanda Bynes to like this movie. Channing Tatum is a really good looking guy – yes, ladies, he’s got his shirt off during the film. The cast really gels well together, which helps the story move along. Even though Amanda really doesn’t look like a guy, the fun part is seeing how she gets away with it all.
She’s the Man opens in theaters March 17th; it’s rated PG-13.
She's the Man is out March 17, 2006.