Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Some As You Like It in Never Been Kissed

Never Been Kissed. Dir. Raja Gosnell. Perf. Drew Barrymore, David Arquette, and Michael Vartan. 1999. DVD. 20th Century FOX Home Entertainment, 2011.

As you probably know, I'm always hoping for more Shakespeare in pop culture. In this instance, I read an article that mentioned As You Like It connections in the 1999 film Never Been Kissed.

The plot involves a journalist who is sent on an undercover assignment to her old high school to try to get the scoop on what kids are thinking, doing, and saying these days.

Soon, it becomes clear that she's developing a crush on the high school English teacher. That partly becomes evident when the As You Like It comes in. Here's the scene:

I was hoping for more Shakespeare . . . some more play with the idea of being in disguise and being better able to express your true identity. And the film does provide some of that anxiety-producing dramatic irony in the play—where we know that Rosalind is in love with Orlando but we're not sure what to think when he's being asked to woo Ganymede while he (she, really) is pretending to be Rosalind (which she is, really).

But it may be too awkward and involve too much anxiety. It's okay for the journalist to develop a crush on the high school teacher since she's not really a high school student and it about the same age as the teacher—but it's not okay for the teacher to develop a crush on one of his students and start to act on those feelings.

In any case, the text of As You Like It serves as a touchstone (see what I did there?) to these issues of love and disguise.

Links: The Film at IMDB.

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Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

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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