Tuesday, August 21, 2007
GET OVER IT!
Price: $2.99 (?) (guessing Sam bought this one, not me)
Runtime: 86 minutes
Director: Tommy O'Haver
Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Ben Foster, Melissa Sagemiller, Shane West, Colin Hanks, Zoe Saldana, Mila Kunis, Swoosie Kurtz, Ed Begley Jr., Martin Short, Carmen Electra, SISQO, COOLIO, and VITAMIN C (!)
This one makes me feel all fuzzy and warm inside. A missive from a youth culture renaissance I largely slept on while in its demo because, well, I was a twerp back then. Yeah, I mean, of course I watched Dawson's Creek for the first two or three seasons with a side order of Buffy and Felicity, quietly mourned the duelling losses of Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared, saw all three American Pie movies in theatres (let's pretend presents band camp nvr hpnd), nibbled on a couple of the big ones on video like She's All That and Can't Hardly Wait, and scoped the random generic factory model a la Whatever It Takes. Well, actually, now that I type it all out, it sounds like I wasn't sleeping on this teentertainment age d'or at all, but this belies the massive glut of interchangeable product heaved on me and my fellow teenagurz round ye olde Y2K. There was about 3 years there ('98-'01), where a movie like GET OVER IT! was shit out every two weeks to mild box office returns and a virtual guarantee of continual slumber party rental profits well into the next twenty years. Or at least that was the idea for all these John Hughes lite with farts and r & b stunt casting and nepotism stunt casting (hello Colin Hanks!) and based kinda on something classic (Shakespeare? Brothers Grimm?) but adapted loosely enough that nobody will feel like they are learning anything cause like school sucks and the whole point of these shits is to transport you to some magic HS fairy land where everything can be resolved via one well-deployed dance number and tightly constructed moment of honesty.
GET OVER IT! is an archetypal example of the most mathematical and generic offering of this low bugd profit era. It's like a latter period Roger Moore Bond film in how cleanly and efficently it adheres to formula in the most pleasing and mind numbing way.
Aging, semi-busted child star from blockbusters past (the risible Kirsten Dunst before Spider Man ensured we'd be looking at her creepy teeth and forehead forever and ever amen) + Random Hot Chick never heard from again (Melissa Sagemiller) + "Lovable," out-of-his-league Doofus the studio is trying to push as the next Tom Hanks / Proto-Shia (Ben Foster) +
R & B stunt casted non-actor in superfluous standing by protagonist's side on left side of frame tour de force (SISQO) + Hunky Douchebag (Shane West, the DeNiro of the Hunky Douchebag, channeling Chad Michael Murray for a world who wasn't quite ready for the real thing yet) + Nepotism pu pu platter (Colin Hanks) + Hot Black Girl to prove the filmmakers aren't racist (Zoe Saldana) + That 70's Show cast member (Mia Kunis) + Old Talented People slumming for the kids (Kurtz, Begley and Short) + More cameoriffic stunt casting (COOLIO, CARMEN ELECTRA, VITAMIN C) + Extremely Loose adaptation of some old Classic Shit (Midsummer's Night Dream by Billy Shakespeare, who wrote a buncha sonnets) = $$$$$$ in 1999
The problem was that this came out in 2001, when the continuous fatigue of three years of WB-pandering teen comedies had dried the well to the point that GET OVER IT! didn't even clear 12 mill domestic b.o. which is all well and good because my obliviousness to it during its initial release enabled me to evaluate it with fresh eyes and an empty colon and what I get is a film that is simultaneously completely and utterly derivative of all that preceded it, but also reaches a mild level of glib surreality that lends it a off-handed charm that is entirely its own. Basic Plot is Main Dude (the foster) gets dumped by super out of his league gf (sagemiller) for mega douche (shane west) who inexplicably is some boy band drop out with an inconsistent british accent. As the Fost mourns, he slowly falls for douchey best friend (colon hanks)'s sister (the kunst) who is more right for him. That this movie was penned by the same dude who wrote She's All That excuses some of its lack of freshness (only fogerty can rip himself off) and explains all the electronia posters on everyone's walls (Kunst has a Chemical Brothers poster, Foster has a Fatboy Slim, She's All That had that epic Rockafeller Skank dance number).
A cursory wasted viewing convinces me that this whole film is supposed to be a dream. It never has its School Daze moment of "I hold my audience in so much contempt"- Spike Lee, 1988, but it might as well. How else can one explain a world in which this Ben Foster fellow who resembles mr. potato head sculpture rendered with play doh and feces is given a lead role requiring him to be lusted after by women while dream fairies circle his head, Coolio bugs his eyes out on his parents cable access sex show, Martin Short plays a heterosexual, but pervy drama teacher, and Vitamin C bookends the film with musical dance numbers occurring diagetically with the integration of SISQO breaking down the fourth wall. Yes, it's like a fever dream of budget minded year 2000 teen popculture ephemera, but I choose to believe it was intended this way; To be a wet dream for the audience of what high school should be like, but isn't, essentially Hughes plus 15 years and not much else. It's hard to pick apart this movie cause it's like making a birthday cake out of easter bunny peeps in the middle of a coke party at Ric Flair's mansion while a hurricane (streets starring warren from empire rekkids) spins the house around in the air (up there starring kevin baking). The center will not hold. My best bet is to fractalize and hope for the best.
Ergo, the scenes of the ludicrously reimagined pop musical version of Midsummer's Night Dream hit closest to home for two reasons, (1) they are the most legitimately funny scenes in the movie, albeit the comedic equivalent of fish barrel bazooka, and (2) my own high school staged a massively similar production by an equally perplexing hetero drama teacher by the name of MOTOWN MACBETH, I shit you not, (example: MACBETH sung to the tune of my girl, fuk u clumsky). The movie version was not as funny as my own personal experience, but what could be, at least this part rang true. The actors in this movie kinda blow generally as I'm sure you could deduce from my darby crash OD of snark above (coming soon Shane West as Darby Crash in What We Do is Secret, featuring Bijou Phillips as Lorna Doom, crossing fingers it will be the unintentionally camp hipster disastro that Factory Girl should have been). The old people steal the show, the movie only ever comes to true life when the old prose push the kids around. When not around, the movie limps along with good will, quick pacing, and the kind of mind numbingly watchable semi-competence that Saved By the Bell rendered transcendental, but here hews closer to the stunning mediocrity of bellwether middling of thee road cable fare like TOMCATS and latter day WB throwback JOHN TUCKER MUST DIE (We will call it henceforth the TOMCATS effect, a film I hated but watched from top to bottom one fatefully unstoned sunday).
Either way, you slice it, formulaic claptrap, surreal avant prank, or somewhere in be-TWEEN! you are right. This movie is simply a reflective surface that enables us to peek into nothing less than the deepest, darkest recesses of our own vividly realized souls. Like the cover of Smell the Glove, the novels of Clive Cussler or Sue Grafton, or the bronzed skin of Zac Efron, GET OVER IT! offers each and every consumer their own personal entertainment horoscope for success. What is your life success plan? Where will you be in two years? How will you get there? What are you doing about it now? SHUT THE FUCK UP!! SHUT THE FUCK UP!!! Get out of my head, Tommy O'Haver!! You may think you know me, but you don't!! I don't even know me!! I am going to go gnaw my hand off.
Spacehog, check out this youtube video of highlights for children from this moovie,
P.S. everytime Sisqo was on screen in this movie, i was reminded of d-12's visionary proclivity to replace the hateful word "fag" in their songs with the hilarious replacement "SISQO,"
at least as far as their first album was concerned (did anybody ever listen to the second one, "my band" aside?). So I hit OHHLA to find the "fruits" of their labor and realized i had just dreamt this and was thinking of a SPIN article where they did that because their lyrics only have a couple SISQO references, one is directly challenging him (way to go Eminem, stick it to the tough targets), and a couple of synonym references to its use in this way. Neither of which are particularly amusing. The lesson is D-12 can only be more amusing in memory than in practice. Never try to revisit, you will only be disappointed and sad in the end. RIP Proof.