She’s the Man (2006)

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She’s the Man is a 2006 American romantic film directed by Andy Fickman, inspired by William Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night. The film stars Amanda Bynes, Channing Tatum, Laura Ramsey, and Vinnie Jones.

Plot: Viola Hastings (Amanda Bynes) is a teenage girl who plays for her high school soccer team. When the school suddenly cuts the girls’ team, Viola requests to join the boys’ team instead but is refused by their misogynistic coach. Meanwhile her twin brother, Sebastian (James Kirk) is supposed to enroll in Illyria, an elite boarding school, but he secretly goes to London for a contest with his fledging band instead. Viola agrees to cover for him by informing the school he is sick but, unbeknownst to him, she decides to pass herself off as Sebastian in hopes of joining their boy’s team and beating Cornwall in an upcoming game to prove their coach and her cocky ex-boyfriend, Justin (Robert Hoffman), wrong. With the help of her stylist friend, Paul (Jonathan Sadowski), she is transformed into “Sebastian” and joins Illyria in his place.

While moving in, she meets her roommate, Duke Orsino (Channing Tatum), an attractive soccer player and Illyria’s team captain. During tryouts, Viola fails to impress Coach Dinklage (Vinnie Jones) and is assigned to second string, much to her dismay. Her teammates including Duke initially dislike “Sebastian” due to his awkward and strange behaviour. However, with help from Paul once again, they begin to accept him into their social circle. At one point, Sebastian’s arrogant girlfriend, Monique (Alex Breckenridge), who is unaware that he is in London almost catches Viola but she manages to escape, “breaking up” with Monique in the process. “Sebastian” then gets the popular and pretty Olivia (Laura Ramsey) as his lab partner, which frustrates Duke as he has feelings for her. “Sebastian” agrees to put in a good word for Duke if he promises to train him to be a better soccer player. Coach Dinklage eventually notices “Sebastian’s” effort and improvement, thus promoting him to first string.

At the Junior League carnival that the siblings promised their mother to attend, “Sebastian” is forced to switch between herself (Viola) and Sebastian while trying to avoid their mother and Monique. At the kissing booth, Olivia’s shift is over right before Duke gets to kiss her. It is now Viola’s shift instead and the two share a passionate kiss, only to be interrupted by Justin followed by a fist fight between Duke and Justin. Duke expresses to “Sebastian” that he might move on from Olivia as he is starting to like Viola now. Viola is delighted as she secretly feels the same way.

Olivia who now has a crush on “Sebastian” asks Duke out on a date in hopes that it will make “Sebastian” jealous. Viola who is unaware of Olivia’s true intentions is enraged instead because Duke has now abandoned his interest in Viola. When Viola finds out the truth, she encourages Olivia to tell Sebastian directly about her feelings.

The situation becomes even more complicated when the real Sebastian returns from London a day early unbeknownst to Viola. As soon as he arrives at Illyria, Olivia confesses her feelings and kisses him. Duke, seeing this, believes his roommate has betrayed him. When “Sebastian” returns to their room, the two have an argument and Duke kicks him out. The real Sebastian returns to the room much later when Duke is asleep. Viola stays in Eunice’s room for the night but oversleeps and misses the first half of the game. The real Sebastian is mistaken for his sister’s impersonation of him and winds up poorly playing his sister’s game instead. Monique, along with Illyria’s pesky dorm director (and Olivia’s stalker) Malcolm, report to Principal Gold (David Cross) of Viola’s impersonation, believing them, he halts the game and informs the crowd that Sebastian is a girl. The real Sebastian being present at the time proves himself to be male by exposing his genitals (off-screen). At half-time, Viola explains the situation to Sebastian and they switch places again.

Duke, still furious at “Sebastian”, refuses to cooperate with him on the field. Determined to fix amends with Duke, “Sebastian” explains the truth that he is actually Viola, convincing Duke and everyone else by exposing her breasts (off-screen). Coach Drinklage agrees to let Viola play anyway, sternly informing Cornwall’s misogynistic coach that Illyria doesn’t discriminate based on gender. Illyria wins the game when Viola scores a goal, finally humiliating Justin and the rest of the Cornwall boys.

Everyone at Illyria celebrates their victory over Cornwall, except for Duke who is hurt at Viola’s deception. She invites Duke to her debutante ball, but he doesn’t respond to her invitation. At the ball, Viola is skeptical that Duke will show up but he eventually does just in time to escort her on stage, where they share a kiss. At the end of the film, Viola and Duke are shown happily playing on Illyria’s soccer team together.

9/10

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