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She’s the Man

By Jess Harvell | Posted 3/22/2006

Teen-comedy auteurs will never go broke giving moldy old literary characters spray-on tans and fresh haircuts. She’s the Man is (very) loosely based on Twelfth Night; closer to the nut, it’s ripped off from ’80s schlock classic Just One of the Guys. Viola (Amanda Bynes) is a star soccer player who, through one of those suspensions of disbelief that only the pubescent and the brain-dead can keep up, disguises herself as her brother to play on his fancy prep-school soccer team. Hilarious misunderstandings and groin-injury jokes follow. As a guy, Bynes resembles the kind of lanky, underdeveloped loser who gets pantsed on the daily, and her extreme boyishness makes the crush that pretty Olivia (Laura Ramsey) develops strain credibility, let alone that über-jock Duke (Channing Tatum) remains completely oblivious to the tender affections of his new twink roommate. She’s the Man lacks the bite of the writers’ other Shakespeare riff, 10 Things I Hate About You—chirpy, big-eyed Bynes is no glowering Julia Stiles—and Bynes plays up her newfound masculinity with the subtlety of a soccer ball to the face. If you’re really in need of a cross-dressing soccer flick, skip this and rent Ladybugs, just as stupid but funnier, plus the added bonus of Rodney Dangerfield.

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