Monday, June 18, 2012

She's The Man (2006)

Director: Andy Fickman (1)

Cast: Amanda Bynes (2), Channing Tatum (3), Vinnie Jones (4), Amanda Crew (5), Robert Hoffman (6)

My favourite quote - "Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them." 

My full name is Monica Alexia Goh Li Li. And these are just a few nicknames my friends (who are also my colleagues) have given me: Manly Monica, Monly Manica, Monica Gor Gor (Gor Gor means older brother in Mandarin), Lily G, Alex Gor Gor, Hamburglar, Go Li. Quite a number of the nicknames above have something to do with the word 'man'. You see, they all think I'm very manly. And according to them, in my office, where there a number of pretty manly guys, I'm ranked the second most manly person there. Second only to my big boss. 

I don't know if I should be happy or distressed by the fact that I'm a woman, and my friends/colleagues see me more as a man than a woman. What has this got to do with the film She's The Man you ask? Well, firstly, the phrase 'She's the man' is something my friends/colleagues would probably use to describe me. Secondly, it brings to mind the fact that some women can do the same things men can do. That is the gist of what I love about the film. 

Even if a woman is manly or does a manly sport doesn't mean she's not a woman at heart or that she cannot do something a man can do. Outwardly, a woman can be as strong as any man or have mannerisms like a man, but that doesn't mean she doesn't want to be treated well and as an equal to the men she dates. Likewise, it doesn't mean that if you're a man, that you are not sensitive or shy as Channing Tatum's Duke is. Some men can be so manly on the field or in their careers yet be so sensitive and considerate regarding their partners. And some woman can be so outwardly manly yet need and crave to be well treated and respected by their partners. 

I think what women now want is to be respected for what they can do in their careers yet still be pampered and taken care of by their man. Yes, women want the best of both worlds. I want that. Call me greedy all you want, but hey, that's the truth. Not all women are like me of course, but I'm speaking for myself. 

I love watching She's The Man because of the plot and its themes, but also because of its comedic timing, the talented cast, and the allusions to Shakespeare's Twelfth Night littered in the film. I used to study Shakespeare at school, and though I cannot say I fully understand all his plays, I do enjoy watching modernised versions of his plays. Among all the modernised Shakespearean plays made to film, I love She's The Man, Get Over It and 10 Things I Hate About You the most. Romeo and Juliet is the skeleton of SO MANY films, its hard to like everything. Although Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet is not a fully modernised version, since they spoke in Shakespearean English, it is my favourite modernised version of Romeo and Juliet so far.

She's The Man also has a great cast, and my favourite being Amanda Bynes who plays the lead Viola Hastings. It is also in this film that made me sit up and notice Amanda Crew. The next time I saw her in film was the film adaptation of Charlie St Cloud. But first, back to Amanda Bynes. I think she's an amazing actress, I recently re-watched her performance in Easy A and heard her singing in the film adaptation of Hairspray. I think she has great comedic timing and I think she managed to be exaggerated (as the role calls for) but not give an over-the-top cringe-worthy kind of performance. 

This film also made me notice Channing Tatum. I can't remember which I saw first, She's The Man or Step Up, but either way, I think he did a great job in this film. He portrayed the jock-type personality extremely well, but I did not expect to enjoy his softer and more sensitive moments he shares with Viola in the film, but I did. And I totally did not think he would be funny at all but he was so funny in the few scenes where he had to be comedic. The rest of the cast, including the coach of Illyria played by Vinnie Jones (he actually plays football and is a retired footballer) was fantastic. 

She's The Man may not be liked by everyone, but I love it because it speaks to me. After all, in the words of Viola Hastings' friend Paul - "Just remember, inside every girl, there's a boy. That came out wrong, but you know what I mean." It's a film about remembering to be just the way you are, because those who love you for who you are are the ones who matter. And, just go for what you want!

(1) Director Andy Fickman has directed films like Race To Witch Mountain (2009), You Again (2010), and Parental Guidance (2012).

(2) Amanda Bynes has acted in films like Big Fat Liar (2002), What A Girl Wants (2003), Lovewrecked (2005), Hairspray (2007), Sydney White (2007), and Easy A (2010). She is well-known for playing the lead role, Holly Tyler in the televisions series What I Like About You (2002-2006).

(3) Channing Tatum has acted in films like Coach Carter (2005), Step Up (2006), Stop-Loss (2006), Fighting (2009), Public Enemies (2009), G.I. Joe: The Rise Of The Cobra (2009), Dear John (2010), The Vow (2012), 21 Jump Street (2012), Magic Mike (2012), and G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013).

(4) Vinnie Jones has acted in films like Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels (1998), Gone In 60 Seconds (2000), Swordfish (2001), Eurotrip (2004), X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), Year One (2009), and Smokin' Aces 2: Assassins' Ball (2010)

(5) Amanda Crew has acted in films like Final Destination 3 (2006), Sex Drive (2008), The Break-Up Artist (2009), Charlie St Cloud (2010), and Sisters & Brothers (2011).

(6) Robert Hoffman has acted in films like Coach Carter (2005), Step Up 2: The Streets (2008), and Aliens In The Attic (2009).

The Eclectic Reviewer thinks… She's The Man will not just make you LOL, it will also remind you to just be yourself and go for what you want. Nothing is impossible, as long as you work hard to achieve what you set out to achieve. (4.8 of 5)

* Movie Poster from Wikipedia

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