What's this? A Ben Foster movie I hadn't seen? Needless to say, it hit that Netflix Queue quickly. And it was certainly interesting. I wouldn't say this is a movie you "need" to see, but it is little known, and it's good enough. This movie is essentially for Midsummer Night's Dream what Easy A was for The Scarlet Letter. Berke (Ben Foster) is on the high school basketball team, but otherwise he's pretty much a loner. That is, until his childhood soul-mate, Allison (Melissa Sagemiller), moves back into town. They hit it off for a year... and then Allison breaks up with him because, basically, she's bored. Berke goes into a depression, and his friends Felix (Colin Hanks) and Dennis (Sisqo) try to make him feel better. Unfortunately, in the process, they reveal that Allison has hit it off with pompous, British, boy band singer Striker (Shane West). He's also talked Allison into trying out with him for the school musical version of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," which is being put on by the self-centered and flamboyant Dr. Desmond Forrest Oates (Martin Short). Of course, Berke immediately wants to try out, as well, not completely realizing at first that it's a musical (and he can't sing)... or how difficult Shakespeare is. But who comes along to help him out is theater student and best friend Felix's little sister, Kelly (Kirsten Dunst). And, wouldn't you know it, Kelly starts to fall for Berke while he's trying to get back with Allison who is hooked up with Striker, though Berke also begins getting feelings for Kelly... all the while Dennis is trying to get with Kelly's best friend, Basin (Mila Kunis). Also in this film are Zoe Saldana as Allison's best friend, Swoozie Kurtz and Ed Begley Jr as Berke's parents, Dov Tiefenbach (who is one of those "that guys" to me), Colleen Fitzpatrick, a young Shawn Roberts, and even cameo appearances by Carmen Electra and Coolio.
Who the hell isn't in this movie? Let's start with the cast. When I said Sisqo, yes... I meant that Sisqo. He did this movie right before his one-hit-wonder "The Thong Song" made it big. This was also, apparently, Kirsten Dunst's first music outing, and her song appears in the soundtrack. And acting wise, she does well. And she's very pretty, so that helps. I mentioned earlier a similarity to Easy A (despite this one coming out years before), and there is more than one. Besides having a "well, this is a crazy cast" vibe, the certain "mentionables" are exactly the same. In Easy A, the ones most talked about in reviews were her parents and the teacher. It's the same here. Berke's parents are, similarly, very laid back and "hip" parents who don't do any form of punishment, even if necessary. In fact, they're often inappropriate with their responses (at one point, after picking Berke up from being arrested at a sex club, they offer to take him out for yogurt or let him go home so he can "polish the rocket"). But the true standout of this film is undeniably Martin Short as the drama teacher. He actually had me laughing out loud. You can tell almost all his lines were probably improv, with Martin coming on set and just going crazy. Hell, I'm not 100% positive he didn't just show up on set and start acting--not even supposed to be in the movie. There's even an entire blooper reel on the DVD that focuses on him, and you can see all the cast struggling not to laugh during takes (Mila Kunis fails the most). But then, of course, you have Ben Foster who--despite being the main character--is listed second under Kirsten Dunst (though she was a bigger name). He does just fine with his character. I wouldn't say it's my favorite performance, but I think that's more on the director not knowing what he was going for than anything.
Which leads me to my first complaint. The movie feels scatterbrained. It can't seem to focus on what it wants to be. You know how Easy A was stretched a hundred different ways but still found a way to make it work? Imagine if it struggled more with it, and you'll get an idea what I'm talking about. This is a pseudo-musical, though only one song is in true musical-fantasy form (and it's at the beginning, almost as if in parody to musicals). There are cartoonish moments with thought bubbles with Martin Short. There's gross out humor (though very rare). There's slapstick... and more. It couldn't find a clear grasp on what kind of comedy it wanted to be, trying to put in laughs for every kind of audience... except maybe fans of dark humor. This is a very light film. Take, for instance, that the writer's previous effort was She's All That, and the director's next film was Ella Enchanted. Though, believe it or not, this was actually edited down from an R-Rated version, which I might have liked more. Maybe that was the problem. You can tell this movie was edited down.
I might as well continue with the Easy A comparisons. Like that one where they're reading The Scarlet Letter and her story has similarities, this movie has them performing Midsummer Night's Dream while the story has similarities. Now, despite being an English teacher, I've not read all of Shakespeare's works, including this one. I would actually like to, eventually. However, I know the general story and characters, though maybe not all their personalities. This brings me to my point: Allison is a bitch. She treated Berke like crap in their break up, and all he wants to do is get back with her at all costs. Granted, the movie is called Get Over It.
I've made plenty of Easy A comparisons throughout this review, but the fact is... Easy A is much better. That's not to say this movie is bad. It is really entertaining. But the script needed to be tightened up a bit, as it tried to have too much going on, never giving enough time to all of them to bloom (they should have cut the basketball subplot completely, as it never gets enough screen time, and it never comes to fruition. There's no purpose to it). Though whether it's attributed to the script or to Martin Short, his character is fantastic, and he would be the primary reason to see this movie. But fault lies partially with the director, too, not being able to stay with a certain feel or tone--granted, this might have been fixed in the full, R-Rated version, so I have no idea. If you're a fan of Ben Foster, moderately quirky comedies, "modern Shakespeare" films, Martin Short, or (yes) Easy A, I'd recommend checking it out. It's no masterpiece, and it's pretty predictable, but it's a fun way to spend an hour and a half.