The remake of ‘She’s All That’ isn’t all that


Kevin Estrada / Netflix

The lead characters Cameron Kweller (Tanner Buchanan) and Padgett Sawyer (Addison Rae) in “He’s All That” share a horseback ride through a mountain as Padgett live streams the ride to her followers.

Chloe Alexander, Reporter

In the 1999 movie of “She’s All That” a heartbroken and vengeful Zach, played by Freddy Prinze Jr., walks with his best friend Dean through Cali High’s courtyard. Convincing Dean that Taylor Vaughan, Zach’s ex, is “a legend, a myth” but still replaceable, Zach looks at each girl who passes with judging eyes, preaching that with a new look, a new boyfriend, any average or below-average girl can be prom queen. Dean offers up a bet for six weeks to change a girl of Dean’s choice into a prom queen. With a shake of a hand, they go “shopping” for a girl to pick. 

Now in the 2021 gender-swapped remake, an embarrassed Padgett, played by Addison Rae, sits at a cafeteria-style table in Cali High’s courtyard with her two friends Alden and Q. She slowly stands, hands flared out on her sides, having a realization that she can make a new version of her ex-boyfriend in anyone. Alden, skeptical and mischievous, makes a bet, an extreme bet they’ve always talked about making. 

“Not just a bet, THE bet,” Alden says. With the shake of a hand, the bet is set. 

Then, they just need to pick a guy to change. 

As usual, the remake is not better than the original. Aside from the storyline that didn’t really change, the inexperienced lead actress and obvious product placement bring shame to the semi-problematic but cute storyline from the ’90s. 

The 1999 “She’s All That,” which is 1 hour 35 minutes and available on HBO Max, follows the main character, a high school “hunk” who gets cheated on and dumped, causing him to be left heartbroken and vengeful. The 2021 remake, now called “He’s All That,” is 1 hour 31 minutes and available on Netflix, and it follows a new main character, a queen bee influencer who gets cheated on and dumped, which causes her to be left heartbroken and upset. Main characters in both versions rant about how they established their ex’s popularity, causing their respective best friends to make bets with them to see if the main character can make a social outcast popular and win prom royalty. After forcing their ways into their chosen outcasts’ lives, the popular main characters try to keep the terms of the bet in place without falling for the love interest.

Each movie follows a similar storyline without leaving plot holes in its wake. There are key similarities of the theme of pitting women against each other and picking the most undesirable one. 

The obvious gender switch for the main characters and the modern twist to the plot aren’t the only things that have changed in the remake. From the obvious product placement by way of the characters straight out saying brand names to the zooming in on different product labels, it’s clear that the whole movie was just a way to get sponsorship from brands. This is quite ironic since one of the movie’s subthemes is the insecurities caused by social media culture and from being an influencer. 

Further, Ms. Rae’s performance in “He’s All That” lacks true emotion and the emotions that she shows are clearly put on and over the top. Her acting is like she’s reading off a script, and her character lacks any sort of development throughout the movie. The only thing changing is the love interest.

After the 2001’s “Not Another Teen Movie” parody of  “She’s All That,” was it really necessary to try and remake the plot with the hopes that a gender swap could change the problematic theme of the movie? If you want to watch a teen rom-com from the ’90s, “She’s All That” is a good choice, but steer clear of “He’s All That.”