Comedies are created for many varied demographics. There are comedies intended for adults. Some are aimed at teens. Still others find favor with young children. She's the Man is a comedy so dull and predictable its makers could only have had fetuses in mind as their audience. No one any older will be even mildly amused.
Despite the rather high falutin' credit, "Inspired by the play Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare," the movie I was most frequently reminded of was 1985's Just One Of the Guys. As with that much funnier movie, She's the Man finds a high school girl attempting to gain the respect that her male classmates seem to be awarded so easily. When her twin brother Sebastian skips the country — without telling his parents — in order to perform in a British music festival (yeah, right), Viola (Amanda Bynes) decides to fill in for her brother at school.
The reason? She wants to join the boys' soccer team in order to prove that she is as good as them. Of course, she effortlessly convinces all concerned that she is Sebastian. Even Sebastian's friend and ex-girlfriend speak to her, face-to-face, without ever questioning.
Casting Amanda Bynes in the dual-role was a staggeringly poor choice. Ms Bynes, who somehow managed to convince a surprisingly large number of people she is actually funny, is not masculine in any way, shape, or form. While not exactly the most bodacious bod in Hollywood, she never manages to evoke anything remotely resembling a high school boy. In fact, the only boy she does look like is the kid who played Sly Stallone's son in Over the Top. Her voice remains feminine, even when she affects a bizarre accent – a mixture of deep south with Jamaican patois. For a movie like this to work, we need to be at least somewhat convinced we are watching a male actor. Bynes was simply not up to the task.
Even in the by-the-numbers attempts to display "girl power" and such, the movie is dismally uninspired. Of course Viola is able to wow her coach and teammates with her soccer prowess. Of course Viola, as Sebastian, develops a crush on her male roommate. Of course you will see every plot development coming a mile away. With a running time of 105 minutes, it's very odd that the filmmakers chose to include four or five montages, edited to blaring (but numbingly generic) pop-rock songs.
Why the padding? This movie would've seemed long had it clocked in at 80 minutes. The flimsy plotting doesn't justify the indulgent length. On a more positive note, the PG-13 rating is entirely appropriate as this film is basically family-friendly viewing. If anything, a plain old PG might have been more accurate. The filmmakers avoid the tasteless humor found in many of today's teen flicks (though frankly, some of that might have improved this movie).
By the way, Sebastian is portrayed by an actor named James Kirk. Had the screenwriter named the character Tiberius instead, it would have provided the movie with it's only moment of true wit.
As for the DVD itself, the movie is presented in anamorphically enhanced widescreen. The transfer is sharp and clean, as expected for a movie just released earlier this year. Soundtrack choices are Dolby Digital 5.1 or 2.0 surround.
The disc is loaded with a fairly impressive array of bonus features. There are two commentary tracks featuring cast and crew members, as well as a text commentary. A selection of approximately 11 minutes worth of deleted scenes is included, with optional commentary. There are three fairly informative featurettes dealing with the making of the film, its cast members, and the Shakespeare connection – they total just under a half hour combined. A variety of more minor features round out the supplements, including a not very funny gag reel.Powered by Sidelines