“I wouldn’t play with that, Kelly,” Berke Landers (Ben Foster) says as Kelly Woods (Kirsten Dunst) playfully aims a crossbow at him.
Kelly laughs and tells him that it’s just a prop.
Berke suggests again that she should probably stop aiming it at him.
Kelly laughs and proceeds to fire an arrow straight into Berke’s arm.
The next scene, of course, is Berke in the back of an ambulance, groaning in terrible pain while Kelly apologizes and a paramedic repeatedly warns Berke not to look at his arm. In most movies, that would seem like a pretty dramatic plot development and, at the very least, you would expect that Berke would try to avoid Kelly and perhaps have his arm in a sling for the rest of the film. In the 2001 film, Get Over it, Berke recovers rather quickly, he and Kelly fall in love, and the film ends with Kelly making a joke about how she thought the crossbow was a prop.
That’s just the type of film that Get Over It is. This is a film from the age when all teen comedies were very loosely based on Shakespeare and they usually had a three word name like She’s All That or Drive Me Crazy or …. well, Get Over It. Ben Foster has the type of role that would usually go to Freddie Prinze, Jr. Sisqo has the Usher rule of the supercool sidekick who raps over the end credits. Shane West speaks with a British accent and steps into the Matthew Lillard role of the obnoxious teen celebrity. Melissa Sagemiller is the girl who the main guy thinks he’s in love with while Martin Short plays the eccentric and overdramatic theater teacher. And finally, Kirsten Dunst gets to play another version of her Bring It On role as the quirky and perky girl who wants to do the right thing. Meanwhile, Zoe Saldana, Mila Kunis, Colin Hanks, Swoosie Kurtz, and Ed Begley, Jr. all have small parts. It’s a good cast, if nothing else.
Get Over It centers around a high school production of a musical version of A Midsummer’s Night Dream. Basketball star Berke auditions for the play because he thinks that it will convince his ex-girlfriend, Alison (Sagemiller) to take him back. Instead, Alison ends up falling for the duplicitous Striker Scrumfeld (West), who has the exact type of personality that you would expect someone named Striker Scrumfeld to have. Meanwhile, Berke is falling in love with Kelly, who is the sister of his friend, Felix (Colin Hanks).
It’s all very predictable but, at the same time, the cast is absolutely charming and there’s enough quirky humor to make it memorable. I’ve watched Get Over It several times and, every time that I rewatch it, I’m always a little bit surprised to rediscover just how funny it actually is. For instance, as Berke leaves Alison’s house after being dumped by her, Vitamin C and a marching band suddenly appear behind him and start to perform Love Will Keep Us Together until Berke finally loses it and starts screaming. The musical production of A Midsummer’s Night Dream is the perfect parody of every pretentious high school play ever produced and Martin Short cheerfully throws himself into being the director for Hell. Ben Foster is a bit too intense to be a romantic or, for that matter, comedic leading man but the rest of the cast is enjoyably laid back and fully embrace their quirky roles.
Get Over It may not be a classic but it is a fun 90 minutes.