The She's All That gender swap movie remake, where social media is the root of the lesson and horses are what brings the leads together, arrived on Netflix a little over a month ago. He's All That serves it purpose of nostalgia-baiting, but lacks the same charm of the source material. Another Netflix teeny movie that can’t quite find its audience.
Padgett, played by Tik Tok star Addison Rae, is a social media influencer who has built her following off a lie; she's not really rich and she does in fact get pimples like the rest of us.
When she is humiliated during a live stream, she is outcasted and loses her sponsorships, so what's the quick fix to this problem? The infamous bet. It follows along the same lines as the original, find the most ‘tragic’ guy and make him prom king.
The reason why this will 'fix' the problem makes little sense, but if we as an audience could suspend disbelief that Rachael Leigh Cook was an ‘undesirable nerd’, we can give the same courtesy here.
The movie wasn’t actually looking to be the next She's All That; it was fun and bright and had a dance battle. Not everything has to be a thinker or a teen classic, just grab some popcorn, and obnoxiously point out all the Easter Eggs from the original. But it can also be fun to make snarky comments about how painfully ‘Hey kids we're hip’ this movie is.
At one point there’s a reference to Brent Rivera, a Viner turned YouTuber who most of the 90s-baby audience will need to Google mid-movie. It does the social media upgrade to the storyline while simultaneously dropping jokes that are ham-fisted attempts at a ‘nudge nudge, wink wink’ to the older audience of how ‘ridiculous’ technology and the youth of today are.
So it is confusing who this is aimed at. Are you trendy and with it or detached and making caricatures of what you think a teen is like? That’s also why the social media is fake moral of it all feels knackered, it's giving ‘motivational video about putting your phone down and enjoying life’ that your aunt tagged you in on Facebook.
But to over-analyse is to over-complicate what was a basic remake that served its purpose and it was fun watch and reminisce.
Rachael Leigh Cook returns as one of the school mothers and Matthew Lillard is the principal (who does indeed do 'the dance').
Netflix are doing their own brand of Disney-esque originals; inoffensive high school stories that either hit like To All The Boys I've Loved Before or miss like Swiped. You probably won’t return to it, but the ride is okay. If anything it will just make you want to watch the original again.
He's All That is available to watch now, exclusively on Netflix.
Words by Josie Wade for Female First.
Tagged in Netflix