Shakespearean comedy and American high school are a match made in heaven--or Hollywood, at any rate. Somehow the exaggerated emotions and budding hormones of adolescence are perfectly suited to Shakespeare's twisty plots, and She's the Man is a perfect example. Viola (Amanda Bynes, What a Girl Wants) is furious when she learns that her high school, Cornwall, has cut the girl's soccer team--so furious that she takes advantage of her twin brother Sebastian (James Kirk, Final Destination 2) skipping town for a few weeks to take his place at his school, Illyria, so she can join the soccer team there.
But her disguise as her brother leads to complications when she falls in love with her soccer-playing roommate and the girl he's in love with falls in love with "Sebastian". . . Bynes may not be entirely persuasive as a high school boy, but she's got the charm and sprightliness to make the audience follow her anyway. The clever script walks a fine balance, treating the situation realistically enough to make Viola's efforts matter, but zipping along quickly enough that we don't worry too much about the details. As Duke and Olivia--the other two parts of the love triangle--Channing Tatum and Laura Ramsey combine sex appeal with engaging sweetness; the excellent supporting cast includes David Cross (Arrested Development), Julie Hagerty (Airplane!), and former British soccer star Vinnie Jones (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels). All in all, a delightful bit of fun. --Bret Fetzer
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