By Owen Gleiberman
Updated March 17, 2020 at 03:05 AM EDT
  • Movie

Tommy O’Haver, the director of Get Over It, knows next to nothing about how to stage a conventional dramatic scene, but he does have one gift: He should immediately go out and make a lip synched pop musical. In his hands, it could be a triumph — a Dennis Potter fantasia reborn as ecstatic cabaret.

O’Haver, whose first film was the 1998 gay indie minihit ”Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss,” relishes the whooshing extravagance of top 40 camp that crests into ironic sincerity. In the opening credits sequence of ”Get Over It,” Berke (Ben Foster), who has just been dumped by his girlfriend, skulks down a suburban street carrying the box of belongings she has just handed to him. As the camera rolls in front of him, in an unbroken shot, he’s followed by the willowy pop singer Vitamin C, who mouths along to the Captain & Tennille’s ”Love Will Keep Us Together,” as well as by a shifting, prancing cornucopia of dancers — a baton twirler, hulky carpenters — who move in and out of the frame.

O’Haver clearly loves the pure bouncing beauty of this kitsch. The closing credits are nearly as good, as Sisqó performs his rendition of Earth, Wind & Fire’s great ”September” surrounded by animated psychedelic flowers and the entire dancing cast. The sequence has the winsome bubblegum passion, the sheer belief, that music videos have long lost.

But that’s about all the movie has to believe in. ”Get Over It” is mostly an amateur hour fiasco. Between bouts of rancid slapstick that make ”Saving Silverman” look competent, the film delivers a pastel version of a fifth rate John Hughes love triangle. ”Why do you hang out with me?” says the dour Ben Foster to Kirsten Dunst, who plays his platonic friend, and Dunst, who manages to look shiny and bored at the same time, never comes close to convincing us that there’s even one reason she’s hanging out with this glum, charmless, sub-Jon Cryer putz. The only performer I enjoyed watching was Martin Short, who plays a bitch dandy music teacher with a smile so fake that the comedian seems to be acting with his gums.

Get Over It

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 90 minutes
  • Tommy O'Haver