Our Rating: ★★★★☆
L Factor: Gender Bender
Short Take: Viola is a star soccer player when her school team is dropped. She decides to pass as her brother and plays for the boy’s soccer team at his new school.
Alternate Titles:
Year: 2006
Duration: 105 min
Language: USA, Canada/English
MPAA: PG-13
Director: Andy Fickman
Writer: Ewan Leslie, Karen McCullah Lutz
Starring: Amanda Bynes, Channing Tatum, Laura Ramsey, Vinnie Jones, David Cross, Julie Hagerty, Robert Hoffman, Alexandra Breckenridge, Jonathan Sadowski, Amanda Crew, Jessica Lucas, Brandon Jay McLaren, Clifton MaCabe Murray, James Snyder, James Kirk

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Shes the ManViola (Amanda Bynes) is a star high school soccer player readying herself for college scouts when her soccer team is dropped by the school. The obnoxious boy’s team coach, with the support of his players, won’t let her try out for that team, so on to plan B. Vi’s brother Sebastian (James Kirk) is supposed to be starting at a new boarding school, but instead, he is sneaking out of town for two weeks. Vi decides to pass as her brother and try out for the boy’s soccer team there.

Outfitted in a wig, sideburns and chest wrap, she makes the team. Then to help convince her teammates of her masculinity, Vi’s friends come by to act the part of ex-girlfriends. Now Sebastian is more than the geeky little guy they thought he was.

Most of film centers on Vi’s awkwardness in the locker room and in the classroom as a girl pretending to be a guy. She also has the hots for her roommate Duke (Channing Tatum), who has a thing for Olivia (Laura Ramsey). Olivia, on the other hand, is attracted to sensitive Sebastian, without knowing that he is really a she. When she finally goes in for a kiss, Olivia is actually kissing the real male Sebastian. At one point, the female Sebastian finds herself on a date with a girl who wants to paw him before Vi escapes.

In the end, both Vi and Olivia hook up with the boys they want, and Vi goes back to her regular life as a girl … only after she proves her point on the soccer field and wins a spot on the team. It’s a cute teen comedy that depends on gender bending jokes. Based on Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night.’ (AB)