It’s ‘Twelfth Night’, but not as we know it: this Viola is a modern-day tomboy teen who poses as her twin brother Sebastian at his new school. The object is to play football; the icing on the cake is the hunky roommate, Duke. Of course, Duke thinks she’s a guy, and there’s nothing gay about this jock, so the familiar tale of romantic misunderstandings plays out. But while Shakespeare’s comic structure provides a witty basis for the film, it’s underused: Malvolio is reduced to the name of a character’s pet spider and many of the complicated subplots are dispensed with. As ‘Sebastian’, Amanda Bynes is no Felicity Huffman: her exaggerated swagger and faux macho street-talk are more embarrassing than amusing and stretch the film’s already shaky credibility (who would mistake her for any boy, let alone her very non-identical twin?). There are bursts of surreal humour – mostly thanks to David Cross’s bewilderingly friendly headmaster – but this remains an uneven comedy most likely to appeal to excitable adolescents unfamiliar with the work of the Bard.
|Release date:||Friday April 7 2006|
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Ewan Leslie, Karen McCullah Lutz, Kirsten Smith|