Movie Review

High school senior Berke Landers just got dumped by his cheerleader girlfriend, Allison. He’s not taking it well. His buddies have been encouraging him to forget her and move on. But Berke refuses to let go, even though Allison has started dating Striker, the self-absorbed lead singer of an ‘N Sync-like pop group. Desperate to remain close to her, Berke steps way out of his league and auditions for the school play, a musical version of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Cast beside him is Kelly, his best friend’s sweet younger sister, who’s willing to help him solve his romantic problem with Allison, but would much rather have Berke for herself. So how long will it take Berke to realize he’s better off with Kelly than with Allison? Ninety minutes, give or take.

positive elements: Kelly selflessly helps Berke prepare for the play. When Kelly, a frustrated songwriter, experiences a crisis of confidence at the hands of an insensitive drama coach, Berke offers her sincere appreciation and encouragement.

sexual content: Coarse joking and sexual references include a running gag about a terrier who tries to "get it on" with a houseplant, a basketball and Berke’s leg. Girls parade around in skimpy swimsuits and low-cut dresses. Kelly makes a crack about her brother’s interest in porn. Although teen sexuality is treated as normal (several kids are shown groping at a party), the most randy pair to appear onscreen are actually Berke’s talk-show host parents, who offer salacious advice, discuss erotic apparatus and demonstrate various sex positions on television. To get Berke’s mind off of his relational troubles, his "friends" (one portrayed by R&B singer Sisqó) take him to a strip club. Berke ends up on stage as part of sadomasochism night, only to be left hanging in a harness when police raid the joint. On the ride home from the station, Mom and Dad express pride in what they believe to be Berke’s blossoming—if somewhat kinky—sexual experimentation. Berke’s mom talks casually about masturbation and later waves condoms at him.

violent content: Rival suitors exchange blows. Felix cold-cocks Berke for kissing his sister. An accident-prone girl is responsible for a series of violent mishaps (a flashback shows her being run over by a dune buggy and landing in a coma). A student has his legs broken in a painful fall. Kelly playfully points a loaded crossbow at Berke which goes off, wounding him. An explosion singes a young thespian and launches him into the orchestra pit.

crude or profane language: Anatomical slang is joined by numerous profanities, including blasphemous uses of the Lord’s name and more than a dozen s-words. Berke gives a teacher the finger and mouths "f--- you" behind the man’s back.

drug and alcohol content: Clubbing teens drink alcohol. Others are shown smoking.

other negative elements: Berke enters a basketball game wearing a jock strap, but no shorts (brief rear nudity). A horse urinates on a boy’s head. A young partygoer vomits in the punch bowl, after which others drink from it. There’s also flatulence humor and a gross one-liner about someone defecating in a swimming pool.

conclusion: It’s a bad sign when a studio refuses to screen a film for the press. That usually means it knows it has a real stinker on hand. The suits are praying for a big opening weekend before word hits the street that teens’ money would be better spent ordering rounds of cheese fries and whiling away an hour and a half at a local diner listening to the class clown play "Who Let the Dogs Out" on his teeth with a tongue stud.

Miramax didn’t preview Get Over It. Probably because there’s not an original idea to be found in this calculated adolescent fantasy that vacillates between romantic innocence and naughty winks at perversion. The movie is a tired marriage of formulas, from its skeletal similarity to a Shakespearean play (a recent teen movie trend way past peak), to its Ally McBeal-ish dream sequences and retro music (Burt Bacharach, The Captain & Tennille, Earth Wind & Fire, etc.), to the way it takes the lead guy 90 minutes to realize that his dream date is right under his nose (a fact the audience learned the first time it saw the TV commercial). The final, predictable product is the pitiable result of creative inbreeding. Worse yet is the movie’s matter-of-fact treatment of premarital sex and its lone portrayal of parents as immodest, party-hungry swingers eager to shock and embarrass their son.

Where’s a musical kid with a tongue stud when you need one?

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Kirsten Dunst as Kelly; Ben Foster as Berke; Martin Short as Dr. Desmond Forrest-Oates; Melissa Sagemiller as Allison; Colin Hanks as Felix; Sisqó as Dennis; Shane West as Striker; Swoosie Kurtz as Beverly Landers; Ed Begley Jr. as Frank Landers; Vitamin C as herself; Carmen Electra as Mistress Moira


Tommy O’Haver ( )


Miramax Films



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Bob Smithouser