Let me just say before I dig into the review for the film. I am old enough that I remember when “She’s All That” hit the theaters. I was just 19 years old when it released. So, This review is from the perspective of someone that saw the original and understood all the nostalgia that is hidden in the new one. If you haven’t seen it then I want to say… What is stopping you already?!
Okay, the movie starts out fairly shallow. There are also things that remind me of another great movie, “Some Kind of Wonderful” (1987), but they aren’t super relative to the story as a whole. I think I only noticed them because I am a huge nerd. This a typical setup actually and was done in the 80’s as well in a movie called, “Can’t Buy Me Love” (1987). Though there are differences of course. This movie is mainly a redo of “She’s All That”, hence the title, with the roles switched and the situations slightly different.
Now, the main character is a good person and is in fact a better person than the “popular jock dude” from the original right at the jump. I think we see this because of the change in focus character for the sequel. In the first one you mostly followed the “loser” Laney with groups scenes and one or two scenes with the jock dude. In this remake you are following the “popular influencer chick” with group scenes and a few “loser contrarian dude” mainly to setup the plot and to help close up the plot in the movie. This change up simplified the formula quite a bit, but, also made some of the plot seem much more shallow as they had to change the conflict for the most part though it is established that the guy dislikes the ex-boyfriend of the influencer chick because he is a dick. Instead of the bet and then the original girlfriend being an issue like in the first one. They had one of the influencer girl’s friends be a traitor who decides to run against her and also start dating her douche of an ex-boyfriend. This was obviously motivated by jealousy by that friend but that isn’t explored as much except for a couple of long shots during certain scenes. If they had wanted to follow the plot of the original then the friend should have still been a jealous bitch, but, gone after Tanner Buchanan’s character, etc.
Over all the movie is fun, funky, goofy, and corny. It is a high school romance movie after all. What really made the film for me, other than how truly hot Tanner Buchanan is, is that they got a couple of the veteran actors from the first one to be in the film. Rachael Leigh Cook plays the mother of the influencer while Matthew Lillard plays the principal of the high school, though Mr. Lillard isn’t revealed until the end of the film. A few moments made me laugh or chuckle because of the references to the first movie. The two biggest being the song “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer playing at the prom with Rachael Leigh Cook teasing the audience about why the song seems familiar to her. Then at the very end of the film when everyone starts to dance Matthew Lillard’s character starts busting out some moves that Brock Hudson, his character in the first one, did as well. It was all very good-hearted.
If you are a fan of the original then I think you will get a kick out of watching “He’s All That”.
However, there are movies done recently that did the same type of makeover shtick a bit better. The first one to pop up in my mind is “The Duff”. Another with a self makeover, romance and highschool drama is “Easy A”.
I’m going to start putting a score at the end of my reviews to help people better understand where my emotional meter is on a movie and how much I liked it. I tend to be critical even when I like a movie or tv show.