Movie Review: He's All That
He's All That is a remake of the 1998 film She's All That. All of the same plot points are there, but instead of a tortured, poor artist, the person in "need" of the makeover is a guy who likes horses and photography and not a jock, but a streaming star who gives makeup tutorials is the maker. The film stars Addison Rae, Tanner Buchanan, Madison Pettis, Peyton Meyer, Isabella Crovetti, Annie Jacob, Myra Molloy, Kourtney Kardashian, Matthew Lillard, and Rachel Leigh Cook. The film is written by R. Lee Fleming, Jr. and directed by Mark Waters. The film is streaming exclusively on Netflix.
This movie is terrible. The shots are composed well, the acting is fine, but something happened in post production to completely suck the air out of it. The pacing is so quick that nothing has a chance to really land. The editing is so extra that what is a simple conversation between two people is composed of multiple different angles that come so fast they're almost on top of each other.
The dance scene that was impromptu and weird, but fitting, in the original is telegraphed heavily. So much so that it's bonkers that they barely let us see any of it. The cuts between dancers are manic, out of rhythm, and the sequence so long it becomes ludicrous.
The film is attempting to land so many of the same ideas as the original, that none of them ever really land. The entire film is charmless in its execution and shameless in its product placement. It moves so fast that the queer supporting couple never does more than briefly interact when suddenly a few scenes later they're inseparable. It's a nice update to the story to have the obviously queer character be queer (Eldon Henson we saw you and your effort). Yet, even the updates are trite. Cell phones ruin everything and high school kids get drunk at parties.
The original and its premise is and was always queasy. Brining it into the 21st century and swapping the genders did nothing to help that and did nothing to reveal a greater truth. Did I get a little choked up when Cameron rode up on his horse to meet Padgett at the prom? Yes, but the original stays strong in my heart because, to a degree, it is absolutely believable, where as this remake is as fake as the life Padgett pretends to lead. Skip this one and find the original. Maybe imagine Henson's Jesse seeing a boy across the room and the two of them sharing a slow dance together.