Movie Review: She’s the Man (2006)

Starring: Amanda Bynes, Channing Tatum and Vinnie Jones

Directed by: Andy Fickman

When the girls soccer team gets cut from the school programme, Viola is desperate play but isn’t allowed to be a part of the boys team. So, desperate times call for desperate measures and she pretends to be her twin brother Sebastian and takes his place in an elite boarding school while he’s away in London. Viola wants to prove that she’s good enough to play with the boys and try’s out for their soccer team only for complications to arise.

I was very apprehensive going into She’s the Man as it’s generally not the sort of film that i tend to watch or enjoy. But as with Wild Child last week, this my wife’s choice again and I was willing to give it a chance and see why she used to love this as a teenager. Also before we go any further with the review, I’m from the UK and shall be referring to soccer as football for the remainder as soccer just doesn’t feel natural for me to say.

It’s 2006 and Amanda Bynes is at the peak of her career with already a few movies under her belt following her successful run on Nickelodeon with The Amanda Show. Arguably She’s the Man is one of her most notable movies and it’s the first movie I’ve seen her in which she plays the leading role. She plays Viola, a football crazy girl whose team gets cut from the high school programme due to a lack of team members. With her coach refusing to allow her to tryout for the boys team she thinks that college scouts will never see her play. Determined to find a way to play she comes up with a plan to be able to play and to beat her high schools team in the process. With her twin brother Sebastian travelling to London with his band and missing the first two weeks of his boarding school semester she seizes her opportunity to pretend to be him in order play for Illyria. Fast forward through a little montage of moustache wearing and hair changes she arrives at her new dorm to find she’s roommates with Duke (Channing Tatum) who happens to be the captain of the football team. With all kinds of romance angles going on between the characters as there usually is in teen comedy movies it’s only a matter of time before Viola has to out herself and explain all the complicated goings on.

First things first the premise of the movie is incredibly stupid and very unbelievable and all the relationship drama seemed unnecessary and weird at the same time. An example of the weirdness is Olivia (Laura Ramsey) falls in love with Sebastian because he’s sensitive and different from all other guys and that’s because Sebastian is actually Viola. So when the real Sebastian comes back from his trip she’s still interested in him despite him being a completely different person to who she fell for. Illogical moments like this in movies tend to frustrate me a lot more than they probably should. Also for a football movie with football legend Vinnie Jones featuring the actual football scenes sucked and looked kinda awful which was a bit of a shame.

On to the good points! While the premise was stupid the movie itself was entertaining and had a fair few funny moments. Amanda Bynes was very funny in both male and female roles and it’s really a shame that her career never rose to the heights it should’ve but young child/teen actors very rarely continue their early success into adulthood. David Cross was brilliantly funny and perfect for the role of Gold, the Illyria school principle. He didn’t have much screen time but when he did feature he was great to watch as he tends to be in most of the roles he undertakes. Most teen high school comedies usually have some kind of message woven into its fabric which becomes apparent towards the end but thankfully She’s the Man was just a silly comedy with no ulterior meaning behind the movie which is nice to see as sometimes while watching a movie I just want to sit back and be entertained rather than be made to think of certain social issues that teenagers go through like the pressures of having sex or the pressures to fit in and change your persona for the sake of friends.

Overall, the plot was bad and certain moments of She’s the Man did annoy me but the comedy was good enough to make this movie decent enough to watch as it provides you with ninety minutes of silly, cheesy fun.


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