She’s the Man Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
The road of child stardom can be dangerous, and Amanda Bynes is doing her best to carefully navigate its hairpin turns. Commenting in the past that she wants to choose her movie projects very carefully, the actress subtly insinuated she hoping to avoid some of the pitfalls experienced by her other teenaged contemporaries. Now, on the eve of her 20th birthday, Miss Bynes is opening in her first “adult” film—in the role of a high school student.
Her character, a tomboy named Viola, is determined to play soccer, even though lack of interest has shut down the girl’s team at her school. So, when her twin brother Sebastian (James Kirk) pulls her into a plan to cover for him for a couple of weeks while he escapes to London to pursue his musical aspirations, Viola thinks she’s stumbled upon an incredible opportunity: Attend her brother’s prep school under his name and she can play soccer on the boy’s team.
Fortunately, the conniving siblings are blessed with two of the most blithe parents on Earth (the rest of the adults in this film are equally gullible). Taking advantage of their divorced status, the pair tells their mother Viola is off to see their father for a couple of weeks… and tells their Dad she’s visiting with Mom. But the shell game doesn’t end there.
With a little help from her effeminate friend Paul (Jonathan Sadowski), Viola gets a makeover that puts more “tom” into the “boy.” Showing up at Sebastian’s school, she/he checks into the dorm and discovers her roommate (Channing Tatum) is a handsome hunk of soccer player (are we surprised?) with eyes for a beautiful blonde named Olivia (Laura Ramsey). However, Olivia is head over heels with who she thinks is Sebastian. Meanwhile Monique (Alex Breckenridge), the girl in love with the real Sebastian, is determined to find out why her man has suddenly stopped talking to her.
Drawing upon Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night for inspiration, this high school soap opera bubbles over with moments for Ms. Bynes to showcase her particular brand of physical comedy and over-the-top performance. Although it’s hard to imagine any other female entertainer in this age range with the courage and personality necessary to pull it off, this attempt to break into adulthood really isn’t letting this actress try anything new.
All the same, she does keep the script true to its Shakespearian roots, using gigantic gestures and an exaggerated delivery that people in the cheap seats of the Globe would be certain to see. And, as was often the case with the Bard’s works, the audience needs to believe the characters are not smart enough to detect Olivia and Sebastian are not the same person, even though you’d have to be legally blind not to figure it out.
Falling into the milder end of the PG-13 rating, the film does contain sexually oriented comments surrounding Viola’s ploy, like trying to explain why she carries around tampons by sticking one in her nostril to demonstrates how they can stop nosebleeds. And when the inevitable moment comes for her to reveal her true identity, she does so by lifting her shirt in view of a crowded arena. (Her brother reciprocates by dropping his pants.) Absolutely no nudity is seen, but parents may have concerns about the exhibitionist acts.
Other confrontations leave girls and guys engaging in physical fights involving slapping, punching, and other hand-to-hand retaliation, with little or no consequences shown for their actions. While this may prove reasonably entertaining for teens and ‘tweens, She’s the Man’s happy-ever-after-ending may not be most parents’ idea of a perfect ending to a two-week lie.Starring Amanda Bynes, James Kirk, Channing Tatum. Theatrical release March 16, 2006. Updated April 8, 2009
She’s the Man
Rating & Content Info
Why is She’s the Man rated PG-13? She’s the Man is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for some sexual material.
A twin boy and girl lie to their parents about what they are doing over a two-week period, forming the concept for this film. No consequences are included for their dishonesty. After the teenaged girl decides to attend school as her brother, she resides in a boy’s dorm. Jokes about tampons and other mild sexual comments are made. Later, she and her brother prove their gender by exposing their bodies at a soccer game (no nudity is shown). Confrontations result in depictions of hand-to-hand violence between males and females—again with no consequences. Mild profanities and a crass term used to identify a woman are heard.
Page last updated April 8, 2009
More parents' guide for She’s the Man after the break...
She’s the Man Parents' Guide
Olivia’s mother wants her to be a different type of girl—one who is more interested in fashion and manners than soccer. Does Olivia ever really try talking to her mother about how she feels? Is it possible for a woman to be beautiful, polite, and physically active in competitive sports?
Why, after centuries, do Shakespearian plays still provide the structure for many modern stories? What present day authors do you think will be influencing audiences hundreds of years from now?
The most recent home video release of She’s the Man movie is July 17, 2006. Here are some details…
Is it a boy? Is it a girl? No, it’s Amada Bynes pretending She’s the Man! Presented in either wide or full screen, both DVD releases offer a commentary with the film’s director and cast (featuring Amanda Bynes), deleted scenes, gag reel, cast photo album and pop-up trivia. Other extras include a making-of featurette and Dave Lichens’ music video Let Go. Audio tracks are available in English (Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 5.1) and Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), with English subtitles.
Related home video titles:
Another young woman disguises her gender and enters an all-male army in the Disney animation Mulan. Amanda Bynes can also be seen in the movie What A Girl Wants. Her contemporary, Hillary Duff, stars as a teenager who lies to her parents in order to go to music school in the film Raise Your Voice.