Shes the Man
PG-13
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: +1/2

Amanda Bynes, Channing Tatum, Robert Hoffman III, David Cross, James Kirk. Comedy. Written by Ewan Leslie, Kirsten Smith, Karen McCullah Lutz. Directed by Andy Fickman.

Viola disguises herself as her brother, Sebastian, taking his place in a new boarding school so she can join the boys soccer team. There she falls for her roommate, a hunk under the misconception that Viola is a guy. He falls for her friend Olivia, who has a crush on Sebastian, who is really Viola. To complicate things even more, the real Sebastian shows up.

Shades of Shakespeare, this idea of false identities and comic misunderstandings was handled in the Bards play Twelfth Night. As I viewed his work dumbed down for todays teenagers (thats not a dig at the youth, but rather an observation of how teen audiences are viewed by Hollywood) I wondered how Mr. Shakespeare would react to his play now looking more like a laugh-track-fueled TV sitcom than a witty farce.

Shakespeare insisted that you suspend all reality while viewing Twelfth Night, but his language of thought and feeling made for pleasurable listening. Here we have a TV child star droning on through sophomoric narration about everything from womens rights to alternate uses of a tampon. (Okay, I better explain that one. Violas roommate discovers a box of tampons in her suitcase. At this point Viola is supposed to be Sebastian. The explanation: they are great for nosebleeds.)

Adults may find this retooling of classic literature beyond silly and resentful that each adult character is clueless, but teenage girls will undoubtedly enjoy the fact that the quick-thinking lead gets the best of both worlds, pretty in pink in some scenes and carefully smudged while on the soccer field in others.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: DreamWorks

Summary
Crude Language: Actually, the film avoids much crudity. That said, the preconceptions girls have about guys leads to some comic crudeness as the lead attempts to emulate the male of the species (spitting, grabbing the crotch, You suck said once, etc). Most of this happens in a brief montage.
Obscene Language: The lead utters the s-word under her breath in one scene and again in another scene. There are a couple of minor expletives damn and hell.
Profanity: Gods name is followed by a curse one time by a snobbish woman; Jesus name is also misused once. In accordance with todays teen vernacular, variations of Oh God are heard two or three times.
Violence: Teen boys get into a brawl over a girl. Theres some visual slapstick on the soccer field. Theres a comic cat fight, but overall, its fairly tame. The lead slaps her bullying boyfriend.
Sexual Intercourse: There are a few sexual innuendos and certainly love is in the air, but besides some kissing in a few scenes, there are no graphic sexual encounters. In a comic situation, a boy and a girl have to prove their gender. He drops his pants, she lifts her shirt. We see only the crowded stadiums reaction. A girl falls for a guy, not realizing he is a she. But there are no pro-gay intentions. There is some sensuality as the camera roams the backsides of two girls in one scene and the opening of the film shows beach babes in brief attire and we see high school cheerleaders in very brief costumes.
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog:
Drug Abuse: None
Other: The parents are divorced. There is a positive statement made form the male lead concerning treating girls with respect. Ditto, for the female lead
Running Time: 105 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and Young Adults

Copyright Preview Family Movie Review (www.previeoOnline.org)