Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"


Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.


Watch This Review

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Movie Review

Tomboyish Viola loves to play soccer, but her school has just cut the girls' team. When she attempts to join the boys' team, she's told girls don't have what it takes to compete.

Viola needs to find some way to show the coach—and her boyfriend, the team's captain—that she is just as good as they are. About that time, her twin brother, Sebastian, tells her he is ditching the first two weeks of school to go to London to try to get a big break for his budding music career. So Viola gets the idea to go to Sebastian's elite prep school disguised as her brother. Dressed as a boy, she'll play on that school's soccer team for the big game against her high school. That will show everyone, once and for all, that she doesn't play like a girl.

Things immediately get complicated. Viola, now "Sebastian," moves into the boys' dorm and quickly gets in over her head while handing out dating advice to her lovesick roommate, Duke. He wants to go out with school "hottie" Olivia but doesn't have the nerve to ask her. Olivia's not interested in him, anyway. She's more interested in "Sebastian." And "Sebastian" (remember, he's really she) finds herself falling for Duke. Then things go from complicated to crazy. Olivia hits on Duke to make "Sebastian" jealous. The real Sebastian's ex-girlfriend, Monique, begins to stalk "Sebastian," thinking she is he. And then Sebastian suddenly shows up—just in time for the big soccer game.

Positive Elements

Allowing a person to follow his or her interests without being forced to live up to others' contrived expectations gets major play here. In a negative way, the value of an intact family is also stressed through the bickering of Viola and Sebastian's divorced parents—with a possible reconciliation hinted at by film's end. She's the Man deserves credit for trying to satirize sexual stereotypes and rebut the culture's emphasis on physical beauty over inner beauty, but in the end it undercuts its own case. (More on this in my "Conclusion.")

Spiritual Content

At a carnival a fake fortuneteller looks into a crystal ball.

Sexual Content

The story is built around a love triangle based on a gender-bending misunderstanding. While impersonating Sebastian, Viola sits in the boys' locker room as they change clothes; she reacts with disgust as a boy strips naked in front of her, glancing several times at his crotch. (The camera doesn't peek.) Several of the girls wear very low-cut blouses or dresses. Girls wearing bikinis play soccer on a beach, and cheerleaders wear very skimpy, form-fitting uniforms. Various boys and girls kiss passionately. Olivia and Viola man a carnival kissing booth.

To convince the other boys of her "maleness," "Sebastian" makes a big deal of ogling girls' backsides, pawing and swatting at them. (The camera ogles, too.) She adds that she'd like to have sex with one girl, using a crude slang term. The girls are in on the deception, and they in turn hug and paw "Sebastian."

Viola's fiftysomething mom speaks in suggestive terms about a high school boy. The school principal jokes about "sexual tension" between "Sebastian" and Olivia, adding, "Abstinence is the key to not ..." but lets the statement trail off. "Sebastian" asks Duke which girl he'd rather see naked, Viola or Olivia. To his credit, Duke says, "Why do you always talk about girls in those terms. There's more to girls than just the physical stuff."

[Spoiler Warning] The real Sebastian proves he's a boy by dropping his pants in the middle of a full soccer stadium. (Girls in the crowd react with apparent glee; his dad reacts with pride.) Viola then takes her turn, lifting her shirt, with similar reactions from the males. (Moviegoers see only lower legs and bare shoulders, but it's disturbing to watch the nonchalance with which the two expose themselves.)

An oblique joke about women's high heels hints that the principal is a cross-dresser, and there's also a suggestion that the male friend who helps Viola turn into "Sebastian" has homosexual inclinations. The principal uses British slang for men's genitals, and a few other double entendres and sleazy comments pop up.

Violent Content

Two boys get into a fistfight, and three girls duke it out in a restroom, with slaps, chops to the throat and kicks to the torso. One girl is tripped and hits her head on the floor. Duke snaps a boy in the back of the head with a wet towel.

Some of the soccer action is rough, with elbows and hard hits. "Sebastian" is hit in the crotch by the ball (the joke is that she fails to react as a boy would). Another boy is hit in the face by a ball. Players from opposing teams get into a shoving match on the field.

Crude or Profane Language

One use of the euphemism "frikken." Viola begins to mouth the s-word. She calls a girl a "b--ch." Several other crudities appear, and God's name is misused about 10 times, once with "d--n." Jesus' name is abused in an offensive context when a boy sees Viola's breasts.

Drug and Alcohol Content


Other Negative Elements

Both Sebastian and Viola lie to their mom. Sebastian justifies lying and skipping school—and flying to London without permission—by saying, "If you want to chase your dreams, sometimes you have to break the rules." He believes that getting away with "murder" is a benefit of having parents who live in separate houses, calling it "the beauty of divorce." Viola also mouths off to her mom.

Duke discovers tampons in "Sebastian's" luggage, and "Sebastian" explains that they're for nosebleeds, demonstrating by putting one up her nose. We later see Duke with a tampon up his nose after getting in a fight. Freshman soccer players are hazed and told, "Welcome to hell." They're also instructed to take off all their clothes. Panicked by this, "Sebastian" pulls the fire alarm.

The Violent Femmes and Sum 41 get advertised via a T-shirt and a poster.


As are 10 Things I Hate About You, O and Underworld, She's the Man is based loosely on one of Shakespeare's plays. This time it's Twelfth Night that receives Hollywood's teenization. Looking for insider clues and references to the Bard's work? Take notice that the school in the movie is named Illyria. (The movie's Duke is patterned after the play's Duke of Illyria.) And in the play, Viola takes the name Cesario; in the film that's the name of the local pizza joint.

In addition to delving into mistaken identities and, yes, cross-dressing deception, Shakespeare's tale lampooned social conventions. She's the Man attempts to do this, too. But while seeming to try to instruct tweens and teens to accept people for who they are and to stop objectifying the opposite sex, it ... objectifies both sexes. The filmmakers focus on girls' skimpy outfits and cleavage-revealing tops, and they portray them as wanting nothing more than to have a boyfriend. The guys don't fare much better. Six-pack abs ripple across the screen. And Duke is hopelessly at the mercy of his own fleeting infatuations, as is at least one of his teammates.

What could have been (and, to be fair, at times is) a broad farce about mix-ups, misunderstandings and miscommunication in the end becomes what it hopes to mock: a story of sexual titillation and stereotypes, marred all the more by bad attitudes and foul language.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range





Amanda Bynes as Viola/"Sebastian"; Channing Tatum as Duke; Laura Ramsey as Olivia; James Kirk as the real Sebastian; Alex Breckenridge as Monique; David Cross as Principal Gold; Vinnie Jones as Coach Dinklage


Andy Fickman ( )





Record Label



In Theaters

On Video

Year Published



Tom Neven

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!