She's the Man
|She's the Man|
|Directed by||Andy Fickman|
|Based on||Twelfth Night by|
|Music by||Nathan Wang|
|Edited by||Michael Jablow|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Box office||$57.2 million|
She's the Man is a 2006 American romantic comedy sports film directed by Andy Fickman and starring Amanda Bynes, Channing Tatum, Laura Ramsey, Vinnie Jones, and David Cross. Inspired by William Shakespeare's play Twelfth Night, the film centers on teenager Viola Hastings, who enters her brother's new boarding school, Illyria Prep, in his place and pretends to be a boy in order to play on the boys' soccer team.
The film was a moderate commercial success, grossing $57.2 million against a budget of $20 million. Although the film received mixed reviews from critics, Bynes' performance was praised.
Viola Hastings (Amanda Bynes) is a teen girl who plays for Cornwall's soccer team until the team gets cut. Her dream is to play for the North Carolina Tar Heels. Meanwhile, her twin brother, Sebastian (James Kirk), is supposed to enroll in Illyria, an elite boarding school, but he secretly goes to London with his fledgling band instead. Viola agrees to cover for him and decides to pass herself off as Sebastian, in hopes of joining their boys' team and beating Cornwall to prove their coach and her cocky ex-boyfriend, Justin (Robert Hoffman), wrong for suggesting cancellation of the ladies' soccer team. With the help of her stylist friend, Paul (Jonathan Sadowski), she is transformed into "Sebastian" and attends Illyria in his place.
While moving in, she meets her roommate, Duke Orsino (Channing Tatum), an attractive soccer player and Illyria's team captain. During tryouts, Viola fails to impress Coach Dinklage (Vinnie Jones) and is assigned to second string, much to her dismay. Her teammates, including Duke, initially dislike "Sebastian" due to his awkward and strange behavior. However, with help from Paul once again, they begin to accept him into their social circle. "Sebastian" then gets the popular and beautiful Olivia (Laura Ramsey) as his lab partner, which frustrates Duke, as he has feelings for her. "Sebastian" agrees to put in a good word for Duke if he promises to train him to be a better soccer player. Coach Dinklage eventually notices "Sebastian's" effort and improvement, thus promoting him to first string.
At the Junior League carnival, where her mother has made her volunteer, Viola works a shift at the kissing booth and kisses Duke. Duke expresses to "Sebastian" that he might move on from Olivia as he is starting to like Viola now. Viola is delighted as she secretly feels the same way.
Olivia who now has a crush on "Sebastian", asks Duke out on a date in hopes that it will make "Sebastian" jealous. Viola, who is unaware of Olivia's true intentions, is enraged instead because Duke has now abandoned his interest in Viola. When Viola finds out the truth, she encourages Olivia to tell "Sebastian" directly about her feelings.
The situation becomes even more complicated when the real Sebastian returns from London a day early, unbeknownst to Viola. As soon as he arrives at Illyria, Olivia confesses her feelings and kisses him. Duke, seeing this, believes his roommate has betrayed him. When "Sebastian" returns to their room, the two have an argument and Duke kicks him out. Viola oversleeps and misses the first half of the game, while the real Sebastian is mistaken for "Sebastian" and winds up poorly playing his sister's game instead. At half-time, Viola explains the situation to Sebastian and they switch places again.
Duke, still furious at "Sebastian", refuses to cooperate with him on the field. Determined to makes amends with Duke, "Sebastian" explains that he is actually Viola. Illyria wins the game when Viola scores a goal, finally humiliating Justin and the rest of the Cornwall boys.
Everyone at Illyria celebrates their victory over Cornwall, except for Duke who is hurt about Viola's deception. Viola introduces Sebastian and Olivia officially, and they begin dating. Viola and Sebastian's divorced parents also make up, exchanging contact information so as to be better parents towards their children. She invites Duke to her debutante ball, with an invitation delivered by Sebastian, now Duke's actual roommate. Still hurt, Duke doesn't respond to Viola's invitation, which devastates her. At the ball, Viola is skeptical that Duke will show up; she distracts herself by assisting Olivia, who is being escorted by Sebastian to the ball, and is touched when Paul asks to be her date. Her mother shows up with a dress that will suit Viola's "no ruffles" policy, but Viola decides to go for a walk instead. She runs into Duke outside, who tells her that he has feelings for her, but that he doesn't want there to be any more deception on her part; Viola promises to be honest with him. Later, Monique (Alex Breckenridge) is escorted by Justin, Olivia is escorted by Sebastian, and Viola and Duke enter the stage late, but together, with Viola in her new dress, much to the joy of her mother. Viola and Duke share a kiss before joining the crowd. At the end of the film, Viola and Duke are shown happily playing on Illyria's soccer team together.
- Amanda Bynes as Viola Hastings, a talented soccer player underestimated for being a girl, who dresses up as her twin brother Sebastian to play soccer at Illyria.
- Channing Tatum as Duke Orsino, the soccer team captain, who is in love with Olivia and, later, with Viola
- Laura Ramsey as Olivia Lennox, a smart girl who falls in love with Sebastian (Viola)
- James Snyder as Malcolm Festes, the school nerd and Sebastian's (Viola's) rival
- Emily Perkins as Eunice Bates, the nerdy and eccentric classmate with weird sexual fantasies
- Alex Breckenridge as Monique Valentine, Sebastian's superficial girlfriend
- James Kirk as Sebastian Hastings, Viola's twin brother, who is in Europe with his band.
- Robert Hoffman as Justin Drayton, Viola's ex-boyfriend and Duke's rival
- Vinnie Jones as Coach Dinklage
- David Cross as Principal Horatio Gold
- Julie Hagerty as Daphne Hastings, the mother of Viola and Sebastian
- John Pyper-Ferguson as Roger Hastings, the father of Viola and Sebastian
- Brandon Jay McLaren as Toby, one of Duke's best friends, who is attracted to Eunice
- Clifton Murray as Andrew, one of Duke's best friends
- Jonathan Sadowski as Paul Antonio, Viola's best friend and gay hair stylist
- Amanda Crew as Kia, one of Viola's friends
- Jessica Lucas as Yvonne, one of Viola's friends
- Lynda Boyd as Cheryl, the debutante ball's hostess
- Katie Stuart as Maria, Olivia's friend
- Robert Torti as Coach Pistonek
- Mark Acheson as Groundskeeper
An adaptation of William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, the film was directed by Andy Fickman, produced by Lauren Shuler Donner, Tom Rosenberg, and Gary Lucchesi, and was written by Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith.
Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum were cast respectively in the lead roles of Viola Hastings and Duke Orsino; Tatum had been chosen at Bynes' insistence, as she felt that he would be received well by audiences. She told Paper in 2018 that "I totally fought for Channing [to get cast in] that movie because he wasn't famous yet," she said. "He'd just done a Mountain Dew commercial and I was like, 'This guy's a star — every girl will love him!' But [the producers] were like, 'He's so much older than all of you!' And I was like, 'It doesn't matter! Trust me!'"
In order to prepare for the role, as it was her first time playing a role of the opposite sex, Bynes and Fickman observed males at a shopping mall. In an interview with MSN in 2006, she said that the part had been difficult for her to play, stating that she felt "awkward" in the role,; she later spoke highly of the experience, saying that "It was hard, but I did it and I did something that was not easy for me — so it was a cathartic experience and I felt really good getting it out of me." However, in a 2018 interview with Paper, Bynes admitted that her role in the film eventually had a negative effect on her mental health. "When the movie came out and I saw it, I went into a deep depression for four to six months because I didn't like how I looked when I was a boy," Bynes said. Seeing herself onscreen with short hair, thick eyebrows, and sideburns was "a strange and out of body experience."
Neither Bynes nor Tatum were skilled at soccer before filming, so they played the sport for hours each day to prepare for the role. In a bathroom scene in the film, where a fight occurs between the characters of Bynes and actresses Laura Ramsey and Alexandra Breckenridge, some of the stunts performed had been done by the actors themselves. Fickman stated in a behind-the-scenes feature that "As much as we had our three wonderful stunt actresses there, too, when you see the cut of the movie, it's a lot of our girls pounding each other,".
The film opened at #4 at the North American box office making $10.7 million USD in its opening weekend. Its budget was approximately $20,000,000. She's the Man grossed a total of $33,687,630 million domestically with a total gross of $57.2 million worldwide.
Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gave She's the Man a rating of 43%, based on 109 reviews. The critical consensus reads, "Shakespeare's wit gets lost in translation with She's the Man's broad slapstick, predictable jokes, and unconvincing plotline." Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 reviews from film critics, the film has a rating score of 45 out of 100 based on 28 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade "B+" on scale of A to F.
On his review of the film, critic Roger Ebert wrote "...Amanda Bynes let us say that she is sunny and plucky and somehow finds a way to play her impossible role without clearing her throat more than six or eight times. More importantly, we like her." Writing for the San Francisco Chronicle, critic Ruth Stein wrote: "Bynes displays a flair for comedy, especially when Viola studies guys walking down the street and mimics their gait and mannerisms. Bynes uses her elastic face to show Viola's every thought making the transition and doing her darnedest to pull it off... She's not going to win an Oscar for playing a boy, as Hilary Swank did; but Bynes makes a far more convincing one than Barbra Streisand in "Yentl."
Refinery29 wrote in a review praising Bynes' both as Viola and Sebastian, writing "As Viola, Bynes is confident and charming, the kind of Jennifer Lawrence-like cool girl who would gladly hand you a tampon in the bathroom — as long as she’s not already using it to stop a nosebleed. As Sebastian, she oozes an inexplicable form of awkward charisma, spitting out perfect line delivery after perfect line delivery, her facial expressions working overtime to nail the laugh. It remains one of her best, most challenging performances."
Criticism was brought towards Tatum's casting. Rober Ebert wrote: "Tatum is 26, a little old to play a high school kid..." Neil Smith for BBCi stated that "Bynes tackles her part with gusto, while Tatum underplays his to striking effect."
Awards and nominations
|2006||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie: Comedy||She's The Man||Won|||
|Choice Movie Actor: Breakout||Channing Tatum||Won|
|Choice Movie: Liplock||Channing Tatum & Amanda Bynes||Nominated|
|Kids' Choice Awards||Favorite Female Movie Star||Amanda Bynes||Won|
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- Just One of the Guys, a 1985 teen comedy with a similar premise
- Hana-Kimi, a 1996 - 2004 shōjo manga literature series
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