LH Film Reviews: He’s All That

This updated version of the classic “She’s All That” falls flat

Rachel Johnson, Reporter

“He’s All That” (2021) is not all that. 22 years since the release of “She’s All That,” this Netflix remake had the potential to be as influential and loved as the original. The cast includes influencer and new actress Addison Rae alongside Tanner Buchanan (“Cobra Kai”, “Girl Meets World”.) The movie also features Rachael Leigh Cook and Matthew Lillard, the stars of the 1999 original. The movie follows the same basic plot as the original film:, a popular student bets that she can turn the school loser into prom king, but falls for him along the way. It also features an impromptu karaoke debut and a manure fight. However, one of the most memorable parts of the movie is the extensive product placement. It was sponsored by many different brands, including EOS, Frito-Lay, and Core Hydration Water. The constant presence of logos is distracting and just annoying. 


Most of the performances are not horrible, but nothing special. Rae is awkward, with her character Padgett coming off as unlikable and selfish. Similar to Rae, Padgett is a young woman who has gained internet fame and now has a large following. Buchanan’s character Kweller is no better, and his overwrought criticism of Padgett for oversharing her life on the internet is painfully pretentious. This pretentiousness is consistent, as he describes himself as “a fountain of truth in a world of bullshit”. 


The movie is directed by Mark Waters, widely known for “Mean Girls” and “Freaky Friday”. Considering these credits, it’s very surprising that “He’s All That” really fails to capture the culture of a modern high school. Like “Mean Girls”, “He’s All That” shows a prevalent hierarchy, but seems to just not understand the social structure of a school. 

All in all, “He’s All That” is another cringe-inducing movie in the Netflix original collection and one that will probably be quickly forgotten. I do think that Addison Rae has potential as an actress, and I hope to see her take on more complex and interesting roles in the future.