Mark Reviews Movies


2 Ĺ Stars (out of 4)

Director: Tommy O'Haver

Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Ben Foster, Melissa Sagemiller, Sisqo, Shane West, Colin Hanks, Martin Short

MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for some crude/sexual humor, teen drinking and language)

Running Time: 1:27

Release Date: 3/9/01

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Review by Mark Dujsik

The teen comedy genre is filled to the brim with mostly mediocre, slightly more bad, and a slim number of decent or good outings. Get Over It falls slightly between mediocre and good. Its premise is typical, but its execution is, for the most part, clever. This is the only teen movie about high school theater that I can recall, and for the most part, itís a pretty accurate depiction. That doesnít really matter, though, because the movie is more often than not entertaining. I like it for all these reasons, but too many times, a strange brand of humor appears and sours the proceedings. It's not necessarily gross-out humor, but it doesnít fit with the more charming tone of the material.

So, which of the usual teen plots does Get Over It use? Why itís the difficult break-up scenario. When Allison (Melissa Sagemiller) breaks up with Berke (Ben Foster), he is heartbroken. He loves this girl, and he has for some time now. He goes through the usual feelings of the recently dumped and tries to win her back. He sings Elvis Costelloís "Alison" outside her window, much to the amusment of her visitors. When nothing seems to be working, he finds out she is going to be in the school play. Itís a musical version of Shakespeareís A Midsummer Nightís Dream conceived and directed by the schoolís drama teacher Dr. Desmond Forrest Oates (Martin Short). So Berke somehow manages to get into the play with some help from one of his friendsí sister Kelly (Kirsten Dunst). So now he must juggle his responsibilities on the basketball court and in the footlights in addition to dealing with a boy band member from England named Bentley (Shane West) whoís moving in on Allison.

As Iíve said before (and what will probably be a constant theme of this review), the teen comedy genre is entirely predictable. Once Kelly steps in, we know where Berkeís affections will eventually lie. How, you may ask? Well, Dunst is a more recognizable face and name than Sagemiller. That and she has top-billing. But the movie isnít entirely about the changing of relationships, which is a nice and subtle change. A good amount of the movie covers the production of the musical, which is one of the funnier bad ideas on how to handle Shakespeare that Iíve heard of. With this angle comes some of the better material in the movie, including a couple of pyromaniac techies, the lyrics for the songs, and, best of all, a decent amount of the actual performance shown at the end.

Even so, there are many instances where a tendency towards gross-out or overtly sexual humor clashes with the sweeter tone of the rest of the movie. Occasionally, itís funny. For example, Berkeís parents (played by Swoosie Kurtz and Ed Begley, Jr.) are as accepting and open as the dad from American Pie which gains to a few laughs. But for the most part, these departures lead to awkward sequences. For example, a scene in which Kelly shoots Berke with a crossbow or Berke and his friends attending an sex club donít fit in with the rest of the movie. There are more scenes like this, too, but these are the most apparently strange.

Adding to the appeal of the movie are charming performances all around. Foster, in particular, carries the movie quite well, and when a relationship does develop with Kelly, he and Dunst make a cute couple. The real standout among the cast, though, is Short, whose theater teacher is an extremely funny creation. Thereís a lot of truth to the character, such as his picking favorites for roles, making sarcastic criticism ("Were you expecting applause for that?"), and believing that everything he does is pure genius. Short plays the role with gusto and indelible comic timing, and his performance is a pleasant surprise within the otherwise obvious material.

Get Over It is nothing new or special, but itís slightly fresher than most of the other movies in its genre. I may be slightly biased towards liking it because it contains theatrical subject matter, but not enough that I can completely recommend it. It veers toward something that itís not too often.

Copyright © 2001 by Mark Dujsik. All rights reserved.

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