She’s the Man

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Not recommended under 8, PG to 13 (Lang. Sex. Viol.)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for She’s the Man
  • a review of She’s the Man completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 13 April 2006.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not recommended due to coarse language, sexual references and occasional violence. Children under eight may also find the story uninteresting.
Children aged 8-13 Parental guidance is recommended for children aged 8 to 13.
Children over the age of 13 Should be ok to view this movie with or without parental guidance.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: She’s the Man
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild sexual references, Mild coarse language, Mild violence
Length: 106 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Viola Hastings (Amanda Bynes) is a Cornwall high school student who is the star of the girls’ soccer team, and whose main passion in life is playing soccer. When Cornwall cuts the girl’s soccer team from their program, and refuses to allow Viola to try out for the boy’s team, Viola poses as her twin brother Sebastian, who is away in London for a couple of weeks. She enrols at his new school Illyria (Cornwall’s soccer rival) so she can try out for their soccer team,. With the help of her friends, Viola dons a boys wig, sticks on some sideburns, takes a crash course in how to walk, talk and act like a man, and passes herself off as her brother.

Viola/Sebastian’s life at her/his new school becomes complicated when she falls for her new roommate, Duke Orsino (Channing Tatum) who has a crush on Olivia (Laura Ramsey), who in turn is smitten with Sebastian. Also in the mix is Monique (Alex Breckenridge), Sebastian’s totally conceited girlfriend, whom Viola dumps.
The big day of the soccer match between Cornwall and Illyria arrives, but things go awry when Viola sleeps in and her brother, the real Sebastian, who can’t play soccer, arrives.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Gender issues, relationship jealousy

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • a fight erupts between Duke and Viola’s ex-boyfriend Justin (Robert Hoffman) after Justin catches Duke kissing Viola at a kissing booth. There are a couple of punches to the face, some grabbing, pushing and shoving ending in the two rolling about on the ground.
  • Viola, Olivia and Monique became entangled in a fight when Olivia and Monique argue over Sebastian. The fight includes slaps across the face and head, punches to the stomach, pushing and shoving and the throwing of shoes resulting in the three girls rolling about on the floor.
  • at the soccer match between Cornwall and Illyria, Justin acts in an threatening and aggressive manner towards Duke, with Justin slapping his own face several times, the inference being that this is what he intends to do to Duke
  • later in the game, an all-out fight breaks out between the two rival teams involving some punching and a lot of pulling, pushing and shoving. The teams chant war cries such as “Who’s gunna bring blood and pain”

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

Although the low level violence described above is depicted in a comic light, it could still disturb or negatively influence some children under the age of five.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by the above-mentioned scenes.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

While children over the age of eight may appear to cope better with the film’s low level violence, they may still be negatively influenced by it.

Thirteen and overinfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

None of concern.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • When Viola’s friends help her out by pretending that they are Sebastian’s ex-girlfriends, they make comments like “I was thinking about you all night… call me anytime”, and “In the end I wasn’t woman enough for you”. 
  • Sebastian’s ex-girlfriend Monique comments “Girls with arses like mine don’t talk to boys with faces like yours”.
  • Viola as Sebastian says “Kiss the crap out of her” and “Which one would you rather see naked”.  
  • In relation to wearing high-heeled shoes “Heels are men’s invention to try and make a woman’s but smaller”.
  • a deliberately “ugly duckling” type girl infers, through body and facial gestures that she is open to advances from the opposite sex with comments such as “I know tricks”.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some partial nudity and implied sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • the real Sebastian proves his gender by pulling down his pants to expose his genitals (lower legs only are shown)
  • Viola proves her gender by pulling up her top to expose her breasts. Her breasts are not shown, but Viola’s fellow soccer players stare.
  • there are a couple of scenes in which Viola walks in on her male team-mates having showers. Only naked upper torsos are exposed.
  • there is a beach soccer match in which numerous girls were wearing bikinis that expose cleavage
  • some cheerleader type girls wear costumes that expose their cleavage and midriffs, including some with pierced navels.
  • Viola as Sebastian grabs a would-be pretend girlfriend on the bottom
  • there is some kissing on the mouth.

Use of substances


Coarse language

There is some very occasional mild coarse language, including:

  • arse
  • butt
  • crap
  • fricken’
  • screw.

In a nutshell

She’s the Man is a romantic comedy which provides a contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and is well suited to its targeted audience of younger teenage girls. While the lead character is not all that convincing as a boy, her character is very likeable as a girl and the film does contain some funny moments.

The main message of the movie is about the unfairness of being treated unequally because of gender. There is also a message about the unethical use of emotional blackmail, as in deliberately making someone you are attracted the jealous in order to gain their attention. Message are mixed in that Viola is rewarded for her use of deception to gain what she wants, and there are no negative consequences for her deception.

Parents may wish to encourage the manner in which Viola persevered through adversity to obtain her goals, and the manner in which her friends supported her.
This movie could give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children what can really happen if they use deception to get what you want and with adolescents discuss more constructive ways to handle sexual jealousy.

Parents may also wish to discuss with their children how women have been affected by gender inequality in the past and how it can still be present in current times.