Okay, yes, I’ll admit it… the main reason I plucked Get Over It (2001) from the second-hand shelf, was the smoking-hot promo shot of Mila Kunis featured on the back cover. Of course, her name isn’t actually included in the small-print credits underneath, so it was still a bit of a punt… but thankfully she does feature in quite a few scenes as the female lead’s BFF, and looks thoroughly adorable throughout… especially with her hair all curvy/wavy like that. Kewt!
For those who don’t know, this teen rom-com stars Ben Foster as a jock who is abruptly dumped by his high-school sweetheart, and then attempts to win her back by auditioning to appear with her in the drama club’s musical re-imagining of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. To aid him in this noble endeavour, he enlists the help of his best bud’s (slightly) younger sister, an aspiring singer-songwriter played by Kirsten Dunst. TOTALLY SHOCKING AND UNPREDICTABLE SPOILER: He ends up with Dunst in the end! Who’d have thunk?
If I had to choose one word to describe this movie, it would be “garbled”. It just seems like they were so busy focussing on all the crazy gags and fancy dream-sequence FX, that they took their eye off the actual emotional arc that was supposed to be underpinning all the extravagance… so they rush through their story beats like speed-freak tourists trying to hit all of some great city’s tourist attractions in a single week. Hurry, hurry, scurry! The characters are never given enough time to breathe, or bed-in, so their triumphs and failures just blur past, without evoking much emotion, or leaving any kind of lasting impression. It probably doesn’t help that the original, slightly-more-explicit cut of the movie had to be edited down, in order to secure a teen-friendly rating, resulting in some very choppy dialogue… the worst example of which comes when the jock tries to warn his ex-girlf that her new beau, ‘Striker’, might be cheating on her:
[Jock approaches Ex-Girlf, who looks up with a hesitant smile]
EX-GIRLF: (tentative) Hi. I… I’ve been wondering where you’ve been.
JOCK: (calm, reasonable) We have to talk about Striker.
EX-GIRLF: (outraged) No, no! You will stop at nothing, will you?
[Ex-Girlf storms off]
Now, clearly there was supposed to be another line or two of dialogue in-between her hesitant greeting and her outraged exit… like the part where he actually mentioned the cheating, for instance… so I can only assume that swearing was involved, and the exchange got cut out, leaving only a disjointed mess in its place. Tch! I also think the movie might have been a teeny bit miscast, since the “hero” comes off as kind of an overly-intense a-hole, even when we’re supposed to be sympathising with him… while his wingman (played by Colin “Son of Tom” Hanks) comes off as quite breezy and charming, even when he’s being a total douche! Considering how sweet and talented Dunst’s character is, I just sat there through the whole movie thinking “She could do so much better”, rather than hoping those two crazy kids would get together in the end. But maybe that’s just me. Speaking of casting, the funniest character by far is the school’s bitchy drama teacher, played by Martin Short. It’s pretty obvious from the “outtakes” on the DVD (basically just six minutes of Short trying out alternate lines) that he was improvising his arse off, and it clearly benefits the movie, comedy-wise. Meanwhile the ex-girlf’s BFF was played by the gorgeous Zoe Saldana (of Star Trek fame), while the jock’s mother was played by Swoosie Kurtz, of Pushing Daisies fame. Sigh, I hate the smell of wasted talent in the morning!
So, in conclusion, if you want to see Kunis and Dunst singing and dancing and looking super-cute, then it might be worth renting this movie… otherwise, you’re better off just re-watching American Pie, which is a hundred times smarter, funnier, sweeter and sexier. Fact.