May 20, 2021

She’s the Man, man!

I'm WillowjakMama!

My blog started as a way to document my journey to wellness, but turned into a place to be inspired by others through our collective messy & authentic stories. Now it's my favourite place to be.

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In my last post I was feeling a little miserable, and tried to cheer myself up by writing about one of the ways I find comfort – through food (specifically pizza). It’s been a few weeks and I am still dragging my heels through this lockdown (even though I know we are headed in the right direction), so I’ve decided to write about something else that brings me comfort – watching some of my favourite movies. 

Even though I’ve been housebound for most of the past year, with a little more time to watch movies on TV, I found myself re-watching movies and I’d already seen many, many times before. A quick Google search will bring up many articles that explain the reasons for this behaviour, particularly during these pandemic times. While it’s always been a habit of mine, the real news of the day has proven to be stranger than fiction far too many times, so I’ve found it especially comforting to revert back to some of my favourites. 

While my friends know my love for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy knows no bounds, following Frodo and the gang as they make their way through Mordor on their very noble quest is a little too intense for the current real-world times. I have managed to re-watch a couple of Marvel movies, but even that was a little too serious for me. Which brings me to that 2006 comedy classic – She’s The Man. I actually thought it was a movie that came out a bit earlier than it actually did. So while I was likely a little older than the target demographic since I had long passed my university years, it managed to make me laugh out loud and feature fun performances by some familiar faces from the stage and screen. 

The movie is loosely based on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. And while 10 Things I Hate About You cannot be touched for its amazing adaptation of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew (and also, for being released in 1999 which definitely still made me part of the target demographic), She’s The Man gets credit for delivering on the laughs and including my all-time favourite sport, soccer.  

The movie is about a girl (Viola) who plays for her school’s soccer team that is ultimately cut. It’s a crushing blow, but she finds an opportunity when her twin brother (Sebastian) asks her to cover for him while he skips school to follow his dream and play with his band overseas. Viola disguises herself as her brother Sebastian, and joins the boy’s soccer team at his school. Hilarity obviously ensues, as Viola juggles improving her soccer skills, appeasing her mother by attending lessons to prepare for a debutante ball, and falling in love with her roommate (who thinks she’s Sebastian). All is revealed in its ridiculous glory at the final match (obviously). 

The movie stars Amanda Bynes as Viola (who would likely still be gracing the screen with her effortless comedic delivery had she not struggled so much with her personal demons), and Channing Tatum as Duke, Viola’s love interest (Channing Tatum would blow up in his second movie of that year called Step Up). There are also some fun performances by Vinnie Jones as Coach Dinklage (proper footballer turned actor), RobertTorti who plays the rival team’s Coach Pistonek (he will always be Lt. Kyle Masters from Generations to me), and Viola’s parents played by Julie Hagerty (she was in Airplane!) and John Pyper-Ferguson (he was in Caprica but also in cast in Brothers and Sisters in 2006). 

Clearly I find comfort in the nostalgia – most of these supporting roles are played by actors who I’d enjoyed for years in many other roles. Amanda Bynes was really the standout and gives a great energy when she’s on the screen.  The storyline is predictable, surface level, and cheesy, yet I laugh every time I watch that Carnival scene. I get to be a hopeless romantic and root for the happy ending even though I know exactly how the movie ends.  I suppose another, very important memory that is tied to the film for me involves my sister. I was with her the first time we saw this movie and it’s really one that we will stop and watch together if it’s on TV because we can eagerly recite the punch lines. (I still miss her so much and our reunion timing is at least closer than it was before.) So while there are definitely other turn your brain off, sit back and relax movies that are out there, if you’re in the mood for some of that early 2000s humour, treat yourself to She’s the Man. (Having said that, I couldn’t tell you where to find it, but I’m sure I have a copy on DVD around here somewhere.) 

Amanda C.

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Hi, I'm Stacey.
Welcome to the
Willowjak Blog 

My blog started as a way to document my journey to wellness, but turned into a place to be inspired by others through our collective messy & authentic stories. We chat about themes that are often ignored and voices that aren't often given a chance at the mic. Now it's my favourite place to be. 

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