He’s All That (2021) Netflix Review

Director: Mark Waters

Writer: R. Lee Fleming Jr.

Stars: Addison Rae, Tanner Buchanan, Madison Pettis

RATING: 1.5 Stars

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A disgraced Instagram influencer makes a bet with her best friend that she can transform an unpopular boy in school into Prom Queen in a ridiculous attempt to win back her followers and her popularity.

Sometimes a film is so shallow and vapid, that I can feel my IQ points leaking out through my ears as I watch it. The nineties original ‘She’s all That’ was problematic as fuck, but is a product of it’s time, and can be enjoyed as such, as long as you don’t take the message to heart and acknowledge it’s problems. I wrongfully assumed that a film made in this #MeToo era, with discussions around gender equality and the like, that this film would have learned from it’s mistakes, sadly I was very, very wrong.

Swapping the gender roles in the film does not make it less problematic, and neither does the ‘protagonists’ change of heart in the end. It certainly doesn’t stop nearly every person in this film being incredibly shallow and unlikeable. Cameron’s backstory more than explains his attitudes towards people, and having Padgett swoop in like some air brushed saviour to turn his life around was unrealistic and ridiculous.

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We’ve all seen this story a hundred, thousand times before, awe know how it’s going to go, right down to the third act breakup before a grand romantic gesture at then end and everything is forgiven. Even if, like in this situation, it maybe shouldn’t be forgiven. And especially if you have seen ‘She’s all that’ absolutely nothing in this film will surprise you, at all. It is textbook from beginning to end.

The acting wasn’t terrible, in fact a few of the actors are really quite good. It’s just a shame that their blossoming talents as young actors are wasted on material like this, and with such cookie cutter characters. Everyone’s personalities, especially those of the social media influencers was blown way, way out of proportion. At this stage in it’s popularity and legitimacy you would think this harmful portrayal of people who earn their money through platforms like Instagram and YouTube would have gone away, but apparently not. It was great to see Rachel Leigh Cook and Matthew Lillard return to the….franchise(?), Lillard’s dance scene at the finale was quite possible the highlight of the entire film.

Do yourself a favour and skip this one if you haven’t seen it already, I watched it, so you don’t have to.

‘He’s All That’ is streaming on Netflix Now!

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