Directed by: Andy Fickman
Written by: Ewan Leslie, Karen McCullah Lutz, Kirsten Smith
Starring: Amanda Bynes, Channing Tatum, Laura Ramsey, James Kirk, Vinnie Jones, Julie Hagerty
Released: April 6, 2006
Grade: B

Viola (Bynes) is upset to hear that the women’s soccer program at her school has been canned due to a lack of interest.  She tries training with the men’s team but their coach objects strongly to the idea.  He thinks women are too slow and lack the physicality to play soccer at a high level.  So what does Viola do?  You wouldn’t believe me if I told you but I’m going to try anyway…

Viola’s twin brother, Sebastian (Kirk), is sneaking out of the house to go to London for two weeks.  He’s part of band which has been invited to play at a musical festival.  Their separated parents know nothing of this and Sebastian asks Viola to cover for him.  I’ve heard of sneaking out at night but how the hell do you get away with sneaking out for two weeks???

Anyway, Sebastian had recently enrolled at an upper-class boarding school which just so happens to have a top men’s soccer team.  Viola’s plan is to dress up as Sebastian, take his place at College and then make the men’s soccer team.  This will prove she’s as good as the boys.

Viola’s scheme starts unravelling when she meets her roommate, a “hunk” named Duke (Tatum).  She starts falling for Duke but of course she can’t reveal these feelings because he thinks she’s a guy.  To explain the other complications in this story, I’m going to steal the tagline from the film’s poster – “Duke wants Olivia who likes Sebastian who is really Viola whose brother is dating Monique so she hates Olivia who's with Duke to make Sebastian jealous who is really Viola who's crushing on Duke who thinks she's a guy…”  Confused?

When I walked out of this film, I didn’t know whether to give this film an average grade or the worst possible grade.  Amanda Bynes is horribly unconvincing when trying to look like a guy.  This fact, coupled with the far-fetched script, will some people thinking that this is as bad as cinema gets.  I won’t argue with them.

However, I believe the film is so bad, that it actually becomes good again.  Does that make any sense?  I was squirming in my seat whilst watching Bynes deliver her lines and that’s unusual for me.  When a movie is bad, I usually just sit silently in disgust.  She’s The Man got under my skin and I was entertained by its awfulness.  You’d think I was talking about an Ed Wood film!

Providing further hilarity was the review of the film on last Wednesday night’s episode of At The Movies on the ABC.  After Margaret Pomeranz gave it a positive review, David Stratton responded with “It's so puerile, Margaret. It is so awful”.  Margaret shot back with “Do you know, what does that say about me? Don't answer that question.”

The film is loosely based on the William Shakespeare play, Twelfth Night.  I say that as a passing comment because it should have no effect whatsoever on your decision to see this film.  All I can suggest is that you consult your doctor first to ensure there will be no mind-numbing side-effects.  Me finish now.