|R. Lee Fleming Jr.
|Kirsten Dunst, Ben Foster, Sisqo, Melissa Sagemiller, Shane West, Colin Hanks
|September 6, 2001
There’s a line midway through that best expresses the intentions of Get Over It. Berke (Foster) is trying to win back the heart of ex-girlfriend Allison (Sagemiller) by auditioning for the school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He’s never performed in a theatrical show of any kind and seeks advice from the talented Kelly (Dunst), the younger sister of his best friend Felix (Hanks). Berke learns some valuable tips but when Kelly goes into detail, Berke tells her that’s enough as “it’s not like I want to win an Oscar or anything.”
The film doesn’t waste time nor propose to be something it is not. Like Berke’s line implies, this isn’t a film that will win awards or receive acclamation. It’s aimed solely at a younger audience and all things considered, is worth a look. It’s a simple story (as I’ve described even more simply above) but it is evident from the start that Tommy O’Haver’s (Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss) direction and R. Lee Fleming’s (She’s All That) screenplay bring new elements to the tired genre.
Ben Foster is our leading man and in breaking with tradition, he isn’t the extroverted teen heartthrob. Foster received much praise for his breakthrough performance in Liberty Heights (unreleased in Australia) but his solemn, laid-back style is quietly refreshing. For once, we have a character we can relate and sympathise with and Foster deserves credit for changing the mould.
There’s an array of hilarious side-characters but Martin Short is in a class of his own. As the play’s director, Dr. Desmond Forrest Oates, his stereotyped persona is wildly funny. Whilst I said that a film like Get Over It will never reach lofty heights, if Hollywood’s heavyweights took the time to actually watch it, Short could easily kick-start a campaign for next year’s Oscars.
Admittedly, it’s tiring to see so many recent teen films borrow heavily from Shakespeare. Baz Lurhmann started the fad in 1996 with the brilliant Romeo & Juliet (starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes) but screenwriters are relying to heavily on the Bard’s works. Last week in the States, a teen remake of Othello was released (called O and starring Julia Stiles and Josh Hartnett) but the poor box-office take may finally give studio executives the impetus to try something new.
I can’t expect everyone to leave their computers and rush to the latest multiplex to catch Get Over It but with a mediocre crop of titles on offer, it’s something just that little bit different. And hey, if you don’t like it then tough, get over it.