Review: He’s All That


by Laksha Vijaikumar, Editor

Movie remakes: They’re either the best thing you’ve ever seen or burning piles of garbage. “He’s All That” somehow manages to be both.

“He’s All That” is a gender-swapped remake of the rom-com “She’s All That”, something I never thought I needed. The movie features Addison Rae as Padgett Sawyer, Tanner Buchanan (star of “Cobra Kai”) as Cameron Kweller, and Rachael Leigh Cook, who was the female lead in the original movie, as Padgett’s mom. The film focuses on Padgett, an Instagram influencer whose boyfriend cheated on her with his backup dancer. Needing to boost her plummeting social status, Padgett undertakes the challenge of turning the ugly antisocial loser, Cameron, into an attractive prom king. 

I want to start with the bad, but where on earth do I begin? While Buchanan is an established actor, Rae happens to be in a different boat. The difference in experience between the two actors is evident in the film, and is probably the reason for the awkward interactions and terrible chemistry. I’m serious about the last part. I’m pretty sure there would be more chemistry between me and a piece of paper than there was between Buchanan and Rae..

“He’s All That” tries to make the viewers feel nostalgic for early 2000s chick flicks but fails miserably. The ‘ugly person takes off their glasses and becomes smoking hot’ plot has been done time and time again, to the point of annoyance and unoriginality. While beauty is subjective, Buchanan clearly isn’t ugly before his makeover. Him becoming more attractive solely because he got a haircut and put on a suit is just downright hilarious.

One of the most significant flaws was the acting. It was pretty tricky to figure out whether it was that or the writing that was so bad. While it’s important to remember that Rae has no prior acting experience, it makes me wonder why they decided to cast her as Padgett in the first place.

For what the movie lacks, it makes up for nostalgia. “He’s All That” is the kind of movie that you can watch with your friends on a Saturday night while eating popcorn under a warm fuzzy blanket. You definitely won’t enjoy the movie, but you’ll still watch it since everyone else has. And let’s be honest… the bandwagon effect is very much real. While “He’s All That” isn’t the worst movie I’ve ever seen, it can’t compare to the original, or to another romance like “Pride and Prejudice” (2005 version, of course). Overall, I give this movie 1.5/5 stars.