Director: Mark Waters
Screenplay by: R. Lee Fleming Jr.
Starring: Addison Rae, Tanner Buchanan, Madison Pettis, Rachael Leigh Cook, Matthew Lillard and Peyton Meyer
Netflix’s latest comedy offering is He’s All That, a gender-swap remake of 1999s She’s All That. The original film is perfectly fine, not breaking any moulds or anything outstanding but it is a fun film. The characters were pretty great and there was enough laughs to keep it entertaining. The remake is pretty much more of the same. The plot is very similar with very little differences, there’s still some laughs to be found and there’s a lot of nods for fans of the original. The problems from the first one are still here, mainly being that you know every plot beat from the first few minutes (even if you haven’t seen the original).
Padgett Sawyer, played by real-life TikTok star Addison Rae, is a social media influencer and one of the most popular kids at school. After her boyfriend, Jordan Van Draanen (Peyton Meyer, Girl Meets World) cheats on her, Padgett’s life gets turned upside down and, in an attempt, to regain her popularity she makes a bet that she can take any boy and turn him into prom king. Her challenge is Cameron Kweller (Tanner Buchanan, Cobra Kai), an outsider who doesn’t fit in.
Much like the original one, you know every moment of the film. You’ve seen it before, even if you’ve never even heard of, She’s All That. It’s a played-out story and there are no twists or surprises here. Thankfully there are still some laughs and decent moments in this one. Screenwriter R. Lee Fleming Jr. essentially took the plot from the first one, swapped the genders of the main characters and updated it to fit into the social media focused world of 2021.
The performances are fine, even if there’s nothing outstanding. The characters are enjoyable enough. The two main characters do feel a little exaggerated and not as believable as their counterparts from the original. Especially Cameron who feels like a template hipster, from his clothing to his old-style camera. He also quickly changes from what he was to fit in with Padgett. When he’s first introduced, he’s not that likable, more irritating and full of himself. That’s quickly eroded as the film moves forward.
There are a few nods to the original film, from cast members coming back in new roles. Matthew Lillard is back and one of the highlights, even if his character is criminally underused. There should have been a bigger part for him to pop up throughout the film. Rachel Leigh Cook stars as Padgett’s mum, and is good in the role. She has a couple of jokes that work really well and her character references that she knows the song ‘Kiss Me’, from somewhere at the prom, which is a nice nod to the original’s soundtrack.
He’s All That is a fine film. It’s enjoyable while it lasts, but it’s not going to stay with you after the credits roll. There’s some laughs and the characters are enjoyable to watch, but there’s nothing spectacular here.