Two movies shot two decades apart from each other and yet the similarities are uncanny. Of course, She's The Man has the similar plot as Just One of the Guys, about a girl who poses as a boy to prove that they have what it takes and their gender should not be a hindrance to achieving their potentials. I recently caught Just One of the Guys (whose most famous actor is the bully who was also in The Karate Kid) and while the film droned on (it felt longer than it's supposed to), I couldn't help but seeing the resemblance of She's The Man. It felt like it was the exact same movie in a more modern setting. Below the cut are my thoughts on the following.
Category: The She-Male
Contenders: Joyce Hyser and Amanda Bynes
Commentary: Both actresses had a different take on how to play a guy. Hyser went full-on guy mode (cutting her hair and being a rather stylish guy) while it was only temporary for Bynes (who we see cross-changing at various points of the day). Hyser's character was more focused on doing her pet project while Bynes was more self-absorbed and hoping she wouldn't get caught while going gaga over Tatum in very obvious ways. If on a physical basis, they both had it down pat, but when it comes to the deeper matters, Hyser was more focused on her mission, while Bynes was more focused on forming that bond with Tatum.
Winner: Tie. Albeit the same, they were different in many ways, and each woman stood on their own. Although not excellent, they gave fair performances and they're lucky that the guys in the movie are oblivious to their strange behavior.
Category: Man of the Hour
Contenders: Clayton Rohner and Channing Tatum
Commentary: Two people who are oblivious to the behavior of who could be their best friend. Rohner was a geek while Tatum was an athlete. Tatum managed to stand out of this film (thus sealing his fate as one of the men who can make girls swoon), holding in his own end beside him being somewhat unknown. He played the typical guy down pat. I do have a problem with Rohner though. He didn't stand out much in the film; he was a bit of a wallflower. Even the brother and the bully made more presence in the film than Rohner did. I want to say maybe it's because of the script or a miscast, but I'm not sure. It's definitely not because he's a geek. I mean look at Patrick Dempsey's character in Can't Buy Me Love. He's a douche and yet he manages to overshadow his co-star. Same goes for Eric Stoltz's character, Keith. He held his own ground against Mary Stuart Masterson and Lea Thompson.
Winner: Tatum. He was more of a leading man than Rohner was.
Category: The Missing Piece
Contenders: Deborah Goodrich and Laura Ramsey
Commentary: There always has to be a love triangle, and this is where the lovely ladies come in. Both play the desirable girl, but only Rohner gets the girl, as Ramsey falls for Bynes, who was pretending to be her brother (so technically, Ramsey plays Goodrich and Sherilyn Fenn--Sandy, who likes Terry, who was pretending to be a guy), and it was evident that Tatum didn't stand a chance. Compared to Goodrich, Ramsey gets more screen time but nonetheless, they played the role of the desirable rather good.
Winner: I'm leaning more to Ramsey, simply because Goodrich was replaceable--the goal was to just get Rick any girl, it just so happened that Goodrich and her boyfriend broke up + he thought of her as perfection.
Category: The Help
Contenders: Billy Jayne and Jonathan Sadowski
Commentary: Jayne wasn't much of a help for Hyser. He was more of a contingency plan, but would love to see his sister make a fool of himself. Nonetheless, he's still considered somewhat of a help because at times, he would get his sister out of mishap. Sadowski was the mastermind of getting Bynes to fit in with the crowd; Jayne just coached Hyser a bit.
Winner: Jayne. He just makes more of a presence in the ploy of Hyser, as opposed to Sadowski.
Category: So What Now?
Commentary: Entirely shot between two generations worth of audience, there are differences as to how this all proceeded. Both went away from the path of self-fulfillment and focused more on the other aspects of their lives. How the movie played out, even if the story line is similar, was different.
Winner: Just One of the Guys. The plot is exactly the title of the movie.
Overall winner: Just One of the Guys. I was considering making this a tie because She's the Man had its own take on the film but it really just boiled down to the story between Viola and Duke (I read a Shakespeare play and this was also loosely based on that--and it wasn't as awesome as 10 Things I Hate About You) and their chemistry. Chemistry aside, Just One of the Guys was feasible and the character thinking made more sense. What do you think?