“She’s The Man” likens itself after Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”, and proceeds in shoving that fact down our throats rather prominently in the ads, and press releases. However, there’s really also no doubt that this is a surefire remake of “Just One of the Guys”. Call it speculation, but in the current onslaught of Hollywood remaking every movie that’s ever been released since the dawn of time, it’s not far off. “Just One of the Guys” is one of my favorite eighties guilty pleasures (thanks for the brainwashing, pap) about a female reporter seeking to discover the world of men by dressing as a young man. The difference, though, between the eternally hot Joyce Hyser, and Amanda Bynes is that Joyce looked a lot like a young man.
Hyser was sexy as a woman, and then transformed in to a young man, deep voice and all. She even looked like Ralph Macchio–which the script wisely points out at one instance—which helped her blend in more as a man, but Bynes just doesn’t fit the bill here, and fails to convince us that she can morph in to one. And for us, the audience, to believe that people around her buy her as a young man only insults our intelligence. Bynes with her poor deep voice, puffy red cheeks, and pouty red lips looks like—a young girl dressing as a young man, plain and simple. Bynes, in all her appeal, charisma, and charm, has the ability to stand out as a comedic presence in truly good films, but prefers to be typical like Lohan, Duff, and every other dime a dozen teen dolt in Hollywood.
You know, there are ways to put creative spins on Shakespeare stories (ahem—“O”, “Scotland, PA”), and “She’s The Man” just doesn’t take the cake. When Viola’s soccer star brother Sebastian skips town, Viola masquerades as him in his school (Beatles wig and all) and prepares to compete in the boy only soccer competition, while keeping everyone from discovering her gender. Now—admittedly, “She’s The Man” has some entertaining moments however fleeting (the restaurant scene, the soccer unveiling of Sebastian); and while David Cross is hilarious, and Vinnie Jones is and shall remain a bad-a*s, it’s just dumb. One of the main conundrums however, is that Bynes wants to have her cake and eat it too.
She stars in a film that targets a teenage audience, yet seems to want to flaunt how much she’s grown. And she’s grown. But not as an actress, and if she wants to show she has, she’s taking steps back by starring in these typical vehicles that spark zero laughter. And no matter how much the script quotes Shakespeare, and fires Cross at us, it’s basically a typical teen comedy. There is the cardboard love interest, the typical geeky supporting characters, and there’s even a musical montage set to bland pop music. “She’s the Man” for all it pretends to be in its visage of reminding us “remember, Shakespeare wrote this” really can’t hide that it’s another recycled teen comedy. While “She’s The Man” may not be the worst movie I’ve seen in the last year (ahem—“Ultraviolet”), it is one of the lamest.
I can’t wait to see Lindsay Lohan do a version of “Hamlet”.