SHE'S THE MAN: DVD
In this modern-day adaptation of Twelfth Night, Viola Hastings (Amanda Bynes) disguises herself as her twin brother Sebastian (James Kirk) in order to infiltrate the all-male soccer team on his campus. Her efforts attract the attention of the school beauty, Olivia Lennox (Laura Ramsey), but Viola finds herself drawn to her team-mate Duke Orsino (Channing Tatum), who has designs on Olivia. The games and gender switches create a number of possible pairings, but each couple's fate will be determined by a single kiss.
Review by Lesley Chow:
One of the charms of this romantic teen comedy is its speed: even its sex change is a remarkably carefree, no-fuss event. When Viola decides to turn into Sebastian, the whole process takes place in a rapid montage: just a quick binding of the breasts, and a couple of attempts at mimicking homeboys, and she's ready. The screenwriters (who include Kirsten Smith and Karen McCullah Lutz, the pair behind Legally Blonde) pack the high-school plot with sympathetic "helper" figures, and tough guys who redeem themselves at the right moment: the characters may be predictable, but we're constantly surprised by their dialogue, and the way their features come into play.
Shakespeare's character of Olivia has always been attractive - an aloof woman, melting at the thought of a shadow - and Laura Ramsey is a lovely, sensitive ingénue. With her over-excited voice and appearance, Amanda Bynes is generally a manic presence - as seen in her TV show, What I Like About You. Yet playing Sebastian seems to humanise her: apparently her set of gestures is more becoming to a boy than a teenage girl. As a woman, she comes across as nervous and eager to please; as a man, she's almost fascinating, with that jerky, overactive body language.
This twitchy little man is a funny and individual creation, and the scene where Viola switches sex inside a castle of bouncing toddlers - just another identity lost in the mix - is superb. Maybe it's the loss of all that hair, but playing a "dude" seems to suit Bynes perfectly: her smirks and whispered asides comically suggest another character trying to get out. Yet once she reverts to being a girl, the interest is gone; when Viola shakes off her wig, sideburns and brows at the end, Bynes is back to being the self-conscious child star.
There are two commentaries on the DVD, together with featurettes, deleted scenes, gag reel, photo album and music video.
Published September 14, 2006
Email this article
SHE'S THE MAN: DVD (PG)
CAST: Amanda Bynes, Alex Breckenridge, David Cross, Vinnie Jones, Channing Tatum, Laura Ramsey
PRODUCER: Ewan Leslie, Jack Leslie, Lauren Shuler Donner
DIRECTOR: Andy Fickman
SCRIPT: Ewan Leslie, Karen McCullah Lutz, Kristen Smith
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Greg Gardiner
EDITOR: Michael Jablow
MUSIC: Nathan Wang
PRODUCTION DESIGN: David J. Bomba
RUNNING TIME: 106 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: April 6, 2006
SPECIAL FEATURES: Commentary by Amanda Byrnes, director Andy Fickman, writer/producer Jack Leslie and actors Channing Tatum, Laura Ramsey; Commentary by Jack Leslie and producer Lauren Shuler Donner; features; deleted scenes with optional commentary; gag reel; photo album; music video
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Home Entertainment
DVD RELEASE: September 7, 2006
RIVERSIDE SCREEN PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 6 consecutive Tuesdays, starts February 17, 2015 at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.