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With: Kirsten Dunst, Ben Foster, Melissa Sagemiller, Sisqo, Shane West, Colin Hanks, Zoe Saldana, Mila Kunis, Swoosie Kurtz, Ed Begley Jr., Martin Short, Carmen Electra, Vitamin C, Coolio, Christopher Jacot, Kylie Bax
Written by: R. Lee Fleming Jr.
Directed by: Tommy O'Haver
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some crude/sexual humor, teen drinking and language
Running Time: 87
Date: 03/09/2001

Get Over It (2001)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Their Aim Is True

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

With courageous releases like The Piano (1993) and Pulp Fiction (1994), Miramax used to be the king of the indies. But now it should be known for cowardice, promoting gutless offerings like Chocolat and dumping great movies like Dead Man (1996) and The Lovers on the Bridge (1999).

Though Get Over It, which opened over the weekend, is hardly a great movie, it sure has more spunk than Miramax's current darling, Chocolat.

Besides not screening Get Over It for the press (which usually means a bad flick), Miramax changed the intriguing title Getting Over Allison to the generic Get Over It, which could be the title of at least half a dozen other movies in current release.

Allison (Melissa Sagemiller) is the object of Berke's (Ben Foster) affection, and the pair have known each other since childhood. But Allison gives Berke the heave-ho and discovers Striker (Shane West), a singer with a phony British accent who performs in boy band (singing "Love S.C.U.D.").

Berke goes a little nuts and joins the cast of the school play A Midsummer Night's Dream to try and win Allison back. But all of a sudden, his best friend's little sister Kelly (Kirsten Dunst) starts looking not so little after all.

The movie scores points right away with a lunatic musical number. Just after getting dumped, poor dumbstruck Berke comes out of Allison's house, carrying a box of his stuff, and a rock band steps out and strikes up "Love Will Keep Us Together" (lip-synching the Captain and Tenille version). The shot continues with Berke sadly shuffling down the street and passersby joining in the song.

I love it when movies dabble in un-reality. It seems to me that reality itself automatically becomes unreal when captured by a camera, so why not have fun with it? During the play, Berke constantly imagines himself on a magical, medieval set with a glowing orange sunset in the distance and tall, mystical trees.

Martin Short, who performs the play's director as an egotistical withered little man, goes off into little reveries. An actual thought balloon comes out of his head, showing us the images of his memories.

In another example, a gorgeous blond Australian woman (still in high school after a long coma) causes disaster wherever she goes, doing things like inadvertently burning down a Chinese restaurant by ordering more tea.

Alas, Get Over It doesn't go into dream territory nearly enough for my taste. Its plot is essentially the same as the great Better Off Dead (1985) and hundreds of other high school movies, and it still has to follow the well-worn grooves. At less than 90 minutes, it doesn't have much time for sidetracks.

Still, as directed by Tommy O'Haver (Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss), the film offers a lot of yuks and a lot of fun. Dunst once again provides her character with wit and soul, using her sweet, sleepy-eyed charm to win the boy. When she sings a song for her play audition (and yes, that's really her singing), O'Haver blocks out all other stimuli, giving her a black background. All attention is on her for a few moments. She's mesmerizing. Too bad Miramax didn't know what they had.

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