Twelfth Night is the inspiration of the film, written by Ewan Leslie, Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith from a story by Leslie, and directed by Andy Frickman (“Reefer Madness,” “Who’s Your Daddy?”). Most of the names from Shakespeare’s classic tale of mistaken identity and star-crossed love are retained: Amanda Bynes is Viola; Channing Tatum is Duke (as in Orsino); Laura Ramsey is Olivia; Brandon Lay McLaren is Toby; Clifton MaCabe Murray is Andrew; James Kirk is Malcolm; Katie Stuart is Maria. Added are a lot of cheerleaders and characters such as Tall Nerdy Guy and Tilt-a-Whirl Girl.
So how does the film get Viola in britches? Well, when her big brother leaves town for a couple weeks, Viola decides to take his place at his boarding school, dressing up as a boy to pull off the stunt. Romantic complications ensue. (Hey, it makes more sense than the motivation Shakespeare gave Viola.)
Past teen comedies using Bardic plots include “10 Things I Hate About You” (The Taming of the Shrew).