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Los Angeles Times

Get Over It

Saturday March 10, 2001

     "Get Over It" is a blithe-spirited comedy in which teenagers discover their romantic vicissitudes mirrored in their high school production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream."
     It's being directed by their nasty drama teacher (Martin Short, hilarious), who has written 12 original songs for the production. "Bill Shakespeare was a wonderful poet, but Burt Bacharach he was not!" declares Short's Dr. Desmond Forrest Oakes, as grandiose as his name. Happily, the film's director, Tommy O'Haver, whose debut feature was "Billy's First Hollywood Kiss," is just the man to keep R. Lee Fleming Jr.'s deft and amusing script light and bouncy.
     Ben Foster's Berke is a decent, ordinary-looking guy whose life is transformed when his onetime childhood playmate Allison reappears in his life--now a grown-up knockout (Melissa Sagemiller). Their close bond as youngsters opens the door for a romance that most likely would not otherwise have happened.
     However, when handsome new student Striker (Shane West)--who has the added allure of being a singer in a band--sweeps Allison off her feet, she points out to the devastated Berke that "trends fade, bread molds, people die"--and sends him packing.
     Berke's pals Dennis (Sisqo) and Felix (Colin Hanks) are hard-put to ease his misery, and Berke, determined to win Allison back, tries out for the "Midsummer Night's" production. Allison and Striker easily win the roles of Hermia and Demetrius. Berke, with a big assist from Felix's talented kid sister Kelly (Kirsten Dunst), who is cast as Helena, lands a bit part but winds up playing the key role of Lysander. It takes Allison almost as long to realize that Striker is a cad as it does for Berke to realize that Kelly loves him. Amusingly, this quartet, having discovered that life does imitate art, decides in mid-performance to make art imitate life. O'Haver accomplishes this twist with humor and high spirits.
     The film's youthful cast sparkles and is neatly balanced not only by Short but also by Swoosie Kurtz and Ed Begley Jr. as Berke's parents. They're cliche-ridden New Agers with a TV show called "Love Matters" but are far too glib to be of any help to their son. "Get Over It" marks the film debut of "Thong Song" singer Sisqo, who has an amiable presence but doesn't get to cut loose until the film's nearly over.
     Frothy fare like "Get Over It" is not so easily pulled off as it looks, and it actually requires a free-spirited sensibility plus considerable judgment and discipline. Fleming, who also wrote "She's All That," and O'Haver have the right stuff for "Get Over It."

Get Over It, 2001. R, for some sexual material. A Miramax Films presentation of an Ignite Entertainment and Morpheus production. Director Tommy O'Haver. Producers Michael Burns, Marc Butan, Paul Feldsher. Executive producers Jeremy Kramer, Jill Sobel Messick. Screenplay by R. Lee Fleming Jr. Cinematographer Maryse Alberti. Editor Jeff Betancourt. Music Steve Bartek. Costumes Mary Jane Fort. Production designer Robin Standefer. Art director Andrew Hull. Set decorator Wayne Jacques. Running time:1 hour, 25 minutes. Kirsten Dunst as Kelly. Ben Foster as Berke. Martin Short as Dr. Desmond Forrest Oakes. Melissa Sagemiller as Allison. Sisqo as Dennis. Shane West as Striker.

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