“He’s All That”: You’ve Seen it All Before


Corinna Caimi, Entertainment Director

If you’ve watched the trailer (or possibly any other romantic comedy from the 1990s on) you know exactly what is going to happen during He’s All That. The lazy, gender-bended remake of the 1999 movie She’s All That falls into just about every single rom-com cliché with one key factor; this one makes even the hippest of adults feel incredibly old and out of touch.

Addison Rae stars as Padgett Sawyer, a high-school social media influencer who goes viral for all the wrong reasons when her friend (Madison Pettis) records her freaking out after she finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her. In an attempt to repair her image, Padgett and her friend make a bet that she can turn the biggest loser in the school, Cameron Kweller (Tanner Buchanan), into Prom King. Do you already see where this is going?

Besides the insanely predictable and been-there-done-that plot, there are a few other key details that make this film difficult to get through. It is unfortunately obvious that this is Rae’s acting debut as she lacks any range of emotion to make her character interesting or relatable. Throughout the hour and a half run-time, her smile remains plastered on regardless of what is going on in the scene and her biggest problem appears to be that she doesn’t live in Beverly Hills. Buchanan, however, gives a fantastic performance for the material he was given driving emotions through painfully cliché words and trying to provide chemistry with Rae.

The attempt to cater to a younger audience could not go unnoticed even if you tried. This was arguably a smart move by both director Mark Waters (Mean Girls) and Netflix itself as they knew Rae’s current cult following is primarily made of 10-13-year-old girls. However, if that is not how you self-identify, be prepared to feel your hair turn gray. Between screens of TikTok recordings, message bubble pop-ups full of slang, and the dialogue saturated with social-media oriented speak you can find the exact original plot of “She’s All That”. It is a painfully obvious attempt at modernizing a story you’ve seen a million times and didn’t ask to see again.

The moral of the story is clear: don’t judge a book by its cover! But did you really need this movie to tell you that? Maybe if you’re the apparent target audience, you do! For all of the adults out there: this movie is not for you, and ultimately not worth more than a good cringe. In the future, hopefully, Rae will have more training and another shot to win our hearts as an actress. For now, you’d be better off watching any other rom-com currently on Netflix.

Rating: 1.5/5

Director: Mark Waters

Cast List: Addison Rae, Tanner Buchanan, Madison Pettis, Rachael Leigh Cook, Peyton Meyer

Run Time: 91 minutes

Release Date (United States): August 27th, 2021