Although She’s The Man pays homage to William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, the directors did not forget to add a touch of originality to their own version of Shakespeare’s play. There are quite a few differences in the plots between Twelfth Night and She’s The Man. The biggest difference is that Viola—from She’s The Man—decides to impersonate her brother at his school while he is absent. She even takes on her brother’s name in order to carry out the impersonation, which eventually benefits her family situation, as it helps her parents repair their relationship.
In contrast, Shakespeare’s Viola is only impersonating a man. She goes by the name Cesario, rather than her brother’s name, Sebastian. Another difference between the movie and the play is that Viola—from She’s The Man—has a mother figure that constantly encourages her to act more womanly. Viola is repetitively disciplined by her mother because she acts too manly. On the contrary, there is an absence of a mother figure for Viola in Twelfth Night. Twelfth Night’s Viola is not driven to be more ladylike. She controls her own actions and chooses to disguise herself as a man, so that she can survive in a foreign land. Though there are differences between the play and the movie, both Shakespeare and the movie’s director succeed in portraying Viola as a strong and resilient female character whose actions produce all of the plot’s momentum.
She’s The Man Transformation Montage: