She shoots… She scores! “She’s the Man” Review

She shoots… She scores! “She’s the Man” is a classic sports movie released in 2006. This movie follows a young female soccer player named Viola Hastings. When her soccer program at her school is shut down, nothing will get in her way from playing the sport she loves, even if that means pretending to be a boy. Directed by Andy Fickman, who has brought us movies like “The Game Plan” starring Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson and “Paul Blart: Mall Cop Two” starring Kevin James. This movie follows Viola played by Amanda Bynes. Viola is very passionate about the sport of soccer. But then her private school shuts down the women’s soccer program. After being rejected and humiliated by her ex-boyfriend when she asked to join the boy’s team, she pretends to be her brother to play for her school’s rival school (Illyria Academy).  Young Channing Tatum also plays a significant role in this movie as he depicts the character “Duke.” This movie brings laughs and a fun time for the whole family as Viola tries to avoid being caught. She does this by pulling fire alarms, pretending to have a guy’s voice, and putting tampons up her nose. But the film isn’t just full of laughs. It also conveys an important message: how women’s sports are underrepresented and not respected compared to men’s. 

Women’s sports are overlooked and not broadcast enough compared to men’s. Their facilities are sub-par, and the money into women’s sports programs is lackluster. “Traditional networks have put little effort into promoting women’s sports, with the National Research Group and Ampere Analysis finding that U.S. broadcast networks spent 0.2% of media-rights budgets on women’s-only sporting events (excluding events with both men’s and women’s sports such as the Olympics)” said an article by CNBC. “Women’s sports receive only 5% of media coverage, according to a recent study by the University of Southern California and Purdue University.” But in this movie, Viola shows the audience that women can do anything a man can. 

By the movie’s end, she reveals her real identity to the team, leading them to victory in defeating Cornwall, her old school’s soccer team. This movie also emphasizes that women are more than just their looks. While disguised as a boy, Viola hears the way the boys at  Illyria Academy talk about girls they are interested in, saying vulgar comments about their looks and appearance. So Viola starts leading the boys down the right way by advising them when they try to hit on girls and fail. After the boys take her advice on girls, they finally succeed, and even Viola finds unexpected love in Illyria. 

This movie is funny and filled with meaningful messages, but a few flaws exist. Certain lines throughout the script are cringeworthy and oddly-timed. While the scriptwriter and director might have intended the lines to be worded and delivered like this, it makes the audience cringe. Overall this movie is good for the whole family, filled with laughs, and tackles complex topics that are still relevant today 16 years later.