After the discharge of Netflix’s bubbly (and appropriately bubbleheaded) teen rom-com He’s All That, a contingent of millennials will little question take to social media to eviscerate this gender-swapped remake of the 1999 modern-day Pygmalion narrative She’s All That. “They’ll’t mess with a basic,” they’ll decry. “This one sucked!” they’ll carp. “Ew, there’s a Kardashian in it!” Don’t heed the outrage brigade; they’re merely pondering with their nostalgia oblongatas.
As somebody who was simply the fitting age for She’s All That when it debuted — 10 years outdated and guileless in comparison with precise youngsters who knew they have been too outdated for this shit — I can guarantee you that He’s All That is basically no worse than the primary movie. Each star cutie-pie leads, make use of snappy one-liners and sufficiently satirize the prevailing media frenzies of their day. (For everybody who will roll their eyes at He’s All That’s obsession with social media influencing and TikTok performatism, please see She’s All That’s centered skewering of the Actual World franchise and MTV tradition at giant.) Each movies are foolish enjoyable. Some may not like the most recent one just because it’s not “theirs.”
He is All That
The Backside Line
Foolish enjoyable — and no worse than the unique.
Now, do I like She’s All That higher? Sure. Considerably. The movie imprinted on me at a younger age, certain, however I genuinely imagine its performances are a lot stronger than those within the 2021 movie. (I imply, the unique supporting forged did embody Kieran Culkin, Clea Duvall, Paul Walker, Gabrielle Union, Matthew Lillard, Milo Ventimiglia, Kevin Pollack, Alexis Arquette and post-Oscar Anna Paquin.) It additionally obtained essentially the most out of a characteristic movie price range, in distinction to the remake, which has a direct-to-video aesthetic.
However as a connoisseur of Netflix’s cheapie and chaste teen comedies, I can vouch that there’s no query Mark Waters’ He’s All That is the very best of that individual bunch. Due to R. Lee Fleming Jr.’s well-paced script, the movie comprises simply sufficient vinegar to counterbalance all that rom-commy high-fructose corn syrup. (Fleming can be the credited screenwriter on the unique movie, although rumors persist that M. Evening Shyamalan both script-doctored or completely ghost-wrote that screenplay.)
She’s All That, awash within the grimace-worthy lingo of the Y2K period, stars Freddie Prinze Jr. as a high-achieving king bee whose gorgon girlfriend leaves him for a Actual World has-been. In search of revenge in opposition to his status-obsessed ex, he accepts a frenemy’s problem to rework the varsity’s lowliest worm into its promenade queen. Naturally, he and his venture fall in love.
Like most of the early-aughts teen comedies impressed by basic literature and mythos, She’s All That — a tackle George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion and the musical My Truthful Woman — was crass however efficient: Each dude is a squirming dick, and each woman is a pleasant bitch, together with little artwork nerd Laney Boggs (Rachael Leigh Prepare dinner), who’s such a dweeb even the Goth chicks bully her. She will be able to maintain her personal, although. Along with her waifish body and snarky demeanor, Laney embodied the Gen X female perfect, even when she was coated in paint splatter.
In He’s All That, each a reboot and a teased continuation of the unique, TikTok character Addison Rae takes on the function of the sensible, widespread highschool royal who, within the wake of complete shame, accepts a wager to make over essentially the most hopeless loser of their college. Curvy, peppy Padgett — a reputation that evokes a reduction shoe model or a species of hen, reminiscent of, say, a shrieking padgett — is a primped teen way of life influencer who presents a false face of perfection on-line with the intention to accrue scholarship cash by paid sponsorships.
Within the opening moments of the movie, we watch as Padgett preens in entrance of her ring gentle and smartphone digital camera, answering make-up recommendation questions from her legions of followers simply minutes after waking up. Her bed room is a millennial pink haven, accented with rosy magentas and creamy corals. The house is so lush it appears to exude a golden aura. However as quickly as Padgett steps out of her bed room to say good morning to her exhausted nurse mother (Rachael Leigh Prepare dinner, credited solely as “Mrs. Sawyer” to goad She’s All That followers), we’re hit with the grungy, gray-tinted actuality of her actual life. Padgett’s on-line persona is all glamour. Not even her greatest mates know her household is working-class.
When Padgett discovers her white-boy rapper boyfriend hooking up with some skag, she utterly melts down dwell on social media, shattering her prim facade and shedding her invaluable spon-con partnerships. She additionally turns into a meme, “Bubble Lady,” because of a hilariously ill-timed snot-shot. To show her life again round and re-earn the belief of her former enterprise affiliate (kue the Kourtney Kardashian kameo), she hatches a plan to sculpt her highschool’s bleakest creature into its sexiest commodity and doc all of it on her feeds to rebuild her follower base. Her dupe: Cameron Kweller (Cobra Kai’s Tanner Buchanan), the moralistic different child everybody rightfully likes to hate.
Everyone knows the kind. Along with his Pleasure Division T-shirts, smelly grey beanie and dank lengthy hair, photographer Cameron personifies a definitive kind of obnoxious post-Struggle Membership, mushy-hearted, wannabe-anarchist, know-it-all agent provocateur. (“Wait, he made one tweet in 2019, and all it stated was ‘No.’ ” experiences one in all Padgett’s mates throughout their recon mission.) He’s a bit of bit grotty together with his patchy pale pores and skin and misbegotten facial hair, however he’s in the end well-meaning and albeit alluring simply as he’s. It’s nearly a disgrace that Padgett will hotten him up in the identical method Ally Sheedy’s Allison was defanged and ruined by the top of The Breakfast Membership.
Rae, who’s performing skills could also be greatest described as rising, remains to be sunny and heat sufficient within the function that Padgett comes off as overeager reasonably than loathsome. Buchanan, then again, must be the actual motivation to load up Netflix for some high quality background watching this weekend. Taking part in Cameron with craggy pretension, he jogs my memory of a younger Val Kilmer. The younger actor has a present for sardonic comedy, even when the script falls into formulaic territory within the latter half. Total, Buchanan and Rae have a cute form of chemistry … and seemingly about 800 enamel between them.
He’s All That could also be a flattened reflection of its predecessor, however each movies are charming sufficient to get away with about one anal intercourse innuendo joke apiece. I’ll settle for the beginning of the She’s All That cinematic universe so so long as we sometime get a derivative sequel about what occurred to Clea Duvall’s monied Goth tyrant.