Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Midsummer Night's Dream: Get Over It (Part Two)

Get over it. Dir. Tommy O’Haver. Perf. Kirsten Dunst, Ben Foster, Melissa Sagemiller, and Sisqó. 2001. DVD. Miramax, 2001.

Get Over It fits Kenneth S. Rothwell's "Mirror Movie" devision of Shakespeare Derivatives, but it might also fit the "Musicals, ballets, and operas" section. Not only are the high school students putting on A Midsummer Night's Dream, it's a musical version of the play!

The songs are amusing, but not terribly exciting. More interesting is the way the lives of the students are affected by the plot of the play—and how the plot of the play is then significantly altered by the alterations in the lives of the students.

The only reason the character playing Lysander tried out for the play at all is because he had broken up with the character playing Hermia, and he thought they would get back together (like Hermia and Lysander do at the end of A Midsummer Night's Dream). But the character playing Helena falls for the character playing Lysander, and he starts to fall for her. The question then becomes whether Lysander should pair up with Helena, changing the ending of Shakespeare's play.

You might have thought that love alters not when it alteration finds—but that doesn't hold true in this film!

Caution: The clip below contains spoilers.

Please note that the film has a fair amount of obscene language (edited out in the clip above). Bardfilm recommends previewing before showing clips to your classes, your children, your aged parents, or people with heart conditions.

This just in: Lyrics for the songs from Get Over It quoted above, together with the text of Lysander's speech:
Opening (Did you Ever Read a Shakespeare Play?)

Did you ever read a Shakespeare play
And never understand a word they say?
Well, tonight we're gonna make things clear
’Cause Shakespeare’s dead . . .
but we’re all here!

William Shakespeare wrote a play
A long, long time ago
About this chick named Hermia
And the two guys who loved her so.
They said, “Hermia, please be my girl,”
But she only wanted one (she wanted one).
In the night the fairies came to play,
So tonight we have our fun.

’Cause I love him
And I love her
(If only her best friend he’d prefer).
And so the fairies all hatched a scheme
In this (boom-shacka-lacka-lacka)
Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Hermia (I’ll make you love me)

Why won’t you love me?
There’s a girl
Who says she don’t love me,
So that’s the girl
That I got to have.

I’ll tell you why:
She’s everything a girl ought to be
And that is why
I can’t understand
Why she don’t love me.

I’ll make you love me.
I’ll make you care.
Never before has a girl
Hurt me more
I’m begging—
Please love me!
Why won’t you love me?
Please love me!

Lysander’s Speech

My lord, I shall reply amazedly.
Half sleep, half waking . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
I came with Hermia hither: our intent
Was to be gone from Athens [so] we might,
Without the peril of . . . Athenian law[, be wed]. (IV.i.146-47; 151-53, with alterations)
[From here on out, not from Shakespeare]
My lord, we slept and slept, as well you know.
Things did change as love did grow.
Although in ways fair Hermia’s soul and mine
Shall forever intertwine,
Alas, we must forever part,
For, lo, to another belongs this heart.

Links: The Film at IMDB.

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Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
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