Knowing what you’re good at and going with it

Robert Taylor

I think Amanda Bynes is all that.

Now, while I would normally never think about opening a column with a quip that corny, this is Amanda Bynes we are talking about here.

Now, all of us have a guilty pleasure or two. I have at least 15. But my unrequited love for all things Amanda is not one of them. I am, in a nickname I just coined, a Bynes Boy, if you will.

We can’t really talk about Bynes’ acting chops before we talk about the kinds of movies she stars in, movies such as She’s The Man, Lovewrecked and What A Girl Wants – sweet, innocent comedies that do nothing more than make people laugh and walk out of the theater with smiles on their faces. The movies are what I like to call “sorta” classics.

She’s The Man is never going to be compared to Citizen Kane. It does not even try to pretend to. But it, like every movie, begins promising the audience something, and She’s The Man, and Bynes’ other comedies, succeed in everything they promise. For that, I consider them “sorta” classics. What more could you ask for in a cross-dressing modern retelling of one of the lesser Shakespearean comedies?

Her choice of films, and this includes her supporting performance in Hairspray, are all variations on the same character, or rather, who we really think Bynes may be like in real life. Sweet, a little na’ve, witty and badly tanned, she puts forth a perfectly-honed persona whenever she appears on camera, and we love her for it. I would even go so far as to call her the upcoming Lucille Ball of our generation. All she needs is a Ricky and a hit CBS television show because “What I Like About You” doesn’t count.

And her latest film Sydney White, a modern retelling of, what else, “Snow White,” continues that tradition. I walked in, laughed my arse off at her personality and vivaciousness and left with a big grin on my face. Detractors may say she just keeps playing the same note over and over, but if she’s perfected that one note, why not keep harping on it? Besides, anything is better than Mr. Woodcock and Good Luck Chuck, right?

Sydney White has so far underperformed at the box office, but most of Bynes’ films do better on video. That’s the way I learned all the dialogue to She’s The Man. All of it.