Saturday, December 2, 2023

#2,938. Get Over It (2001) - Kirsten Dunst Film Festival


High school athlete Berke Landers (Ben Foster) discovers his longtime girlfriend Allison (Melissa Sagemiller) has fallen in love with drama student Bentley Scrumfeld (Shane West). So, Berke decides to try out for the school play, hoping to land the lead in an upcoming musical production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. If he succeeds, he will star opposite Allison and, if all goes well, win her back.

There’s one problem, though: Berke can neither sing nor act!

To help him prepare, he turns to Kelly Woods (Kirsten Dunst), the younger sister of his best friend Felix (Colin Hanks). Kelly does what she can to assist Berke, all the while harboring a secret crush on him.

Will Berke win back the woman of his dreams, or should he just Get Over It?

Director Tommy O’Haver’s Get Over It has an amazingly strong cast. Along with those already mentioned, there’s Martin Short, who is very funny as Dr. Desmond Forrest Oates, the frantic director of the upcoming play. Short gets some of the film’s biggest laughs (especially towards the end, while watching his opus as he sits with the audience). Swoosie Kurtz and Ed Begley Jr. are also good as Berke’s far-too-supportive parents, and future superstars Zoe Saldana, Mila Kunis, and Carmen Electra turn up in supporting roles.

Get Over It also features real-life musicians Sisqo (as Dennis, one of Berke’s friends), Vitamin C (as herself), and Coolio (as himself).

Even with such a stellar cast, Ben Foster stands out as Berke, displaying a certain charm as a romantic lead while also getting some laughs of his own. But it isn’t long before you’ll want to slap the hell out of his character for not realizing Kelly is the right girl for him, and Kirsten Dunst is the reason why.

I always felt that Dunst, especially during this time period, was an underappreciated actress. She achieved a level of fame (and rightly so) playing Mary Jane in Sam Raimi’s Spider Man trilogy, but was also great in Drop Dead Gorgeous, Dick, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Marie Antionette. In Get Over It, her Kelly is such a sweetheart that you develop a crush on her almost immediately, and you can’t understand why Berke doesn't. Granted, it’s his best friend’s kid sister, but still…

Get Over It is a stylishly directed romantic comedy with some great songs (Dunst herself gets in on the act, making her big-screen singing debut with “Dream Of Me”) and genuine laughs. But even with so many talented individuals surrounding her, it's Kirsten Dunst who steals the show.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10

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