If you are anything like me, Halloweekend absolutely chewed you up and spit you out. You may still feel a little hazy from a weekend spent in various moldy basements and have vowed never to go out again. I too, made the half-promise of a calm weekend in and spent my Friday night curled up with a movie and some kind of stale popcorn. The movie was one I hoped would fill me with a prepubescent nostalgia, Amanda Bynes’s 2006 cult-classic “She’s The Man”. Not only was I a young girl in the 2000s, but I’m also an English major, so this Shakespeare adaptation turned cheesy rom-com is the perfect combination of everything I look for in a movie. And I was not disappointed…
The movie begins with some teenybopper music and freeze-frame graphics of people playing soccer in tiny bikinis on the beach. Classic 2006! We quickly find out that the girl’s soccer team has had its funding cut, setting up our main character, Viola Johnson, for catastrophe! Of course, the only logical solution is to cross-dress as her twin brother, Sebastian, so she can play soccer on his team. If the idea wasn’t crazy enough Sebastian has no idea that Viola is impersonating him-what could go wrong? There is an awesome flippy dippy colorful makeover montage scene complete with fake mustaches and twirling, and so begins Viola’s journey as Sebastian! The first time she walks down the hallway at her new school, it is a madhouse of testosterone, sweat, and shirtless Channing Tatum. Bynes’s portrayal of a high school girl acting like a high school boy is fantastic and really, really awkward.
The next 20 minutes are just montages of shirtless Channing Tatum playing soccer and Viola/Sebastian coming really close to revealing that she is, in fact, a girl in a wig. We get the awesome line that Shakespeare could only dream of writing “Girls with asses like mine don’t talk to boys with faces like yours.” When I close my eyes at night I hear Amanda Bynes saying “UUggahlay” over and over. Viola starts to find her groove as Sebastian until the unspeakable happens – she falls in love with Channing Tatum. And then, Olivia, Channing Tatum’s love interest, falls in love with Viola, who she thinks is Sebastian. Talk about confusing! Basically, the whole movie is toeing the line of being really gay, but never quite crosses that line. Channing Tatum and Viola/Sebastian do this whole thing where they practice flirting with each other, and it’s really homoerotic while still somehow being… Straight?
There is a super awesome carnival scene where Viola has to switch back and forth between her two personas, and everyone she’s ever met is also there and coming really close to catching her. The rest of the movie is really stressful and Viola makes a lot of really terrible choices that jeopardize the entire operation. There are fights, tears, and debutante balls! Then-plot twist-the real Sebastian comes home! And on the day of the big soccer game no less- a true recipe for disaster. Everyone is super confused for the whole game and then shit gets really crazy. The principal outs Viola/Sebastian to the entire school-causing the real Sebastian to WHIP HIS DICK OUT TO THE WHOLE SCHOOL AND THEIR FAMILIES! After that, Viola reveals her big secret to the whole team- and confesses her love for Channing Tatum. To prove it, she WHIPS HER TITS OUT TO THE WHOLE SCHOOL AND THEIR FAMILIES! Seriously insane!
Of course, Channing Tatum and Viola end up together, and Sebastian ends up with Olivia, and Viola wins the soccer game for her team. A happy ending for everyone-especially me. I fully expected to write a terrible review of this movie, but after further examination, I’ve realized that it is a fantastic movie. The soundtrack is non-stop hits, and almost every line is quotable. The only thing that would make it better would be literally any queer person in the cast- but alas-we can’t win them all.