He’s (not) all that

Netflix’s newest movie drama flop


He's All That

The “He’s All That” movie was released to Netflix’s platform on August 27.

Bethany Mann, Staff Writer

 I gawked at the idea of Addison Rae being in a movie, an actual movie. I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that people who post 15 second dancing videos on TikTok have millions of followers, and now they’re showing up on the big screens. Well, that is if Netflix’s new movie “He’s All That” can be considered a “big screen.”

 “He’s All That” is a gender swapped remake of the 1999 film “She’s All That.” The plot of the movie does not stray too far away from its original source, but it does have a component of its own — social media. I found its incorporation of the internet very interesting, and not in a good way. Having an influencer play an influencer is asking for a superficial character. 

The plot of the movie is firmly established within the first 10 minutes. Padgett Sawyer is a 17-year-old, social media star. Her boyfriend, Jordan Van Draanen, is also a 17-year-old, social media star. Padgett takes a surprise visit to Jordan’s trailer and finds him cheating on her with another girl; in response, Padgett has a bit of a meltdown, perhaps rightfully so, and livestreams the whole thing. This event almost ruined her career, causing her to lose her sponsorship with a character played by none other than Kourtney Kardashian. Padgett’s solution to her problem was to find a “loser” at her school, give him a complete makeover, and hopefully he would win prom king. I don’t know how those things correlate, but we’re to believe they do.

By the year 2021, I thought that media industries would have moved past the “loser” kid stereotypes, but apparently not. Padgett picks Cameron Kweller, played by Tanner Buchanan, for her plan. The character of Cameron is, of course, played by an actor who is quite literally the beauty standard for men, but he has long hair and wears a hat in the beginning so he’s obviously ugly. 

I found myself in physical pain while watching “He’s All That.” Addison Rae’s performance was probably the worst acting I had ever seen, apart from Dixie D’Amelio in the YouTube drama “Attaway General.” There was absolutely no emotion in her line delivery, which doesn’t pair well with shallow writing.

Every time a character delivered a so-called comedic line, I felt like I was watching an old “Saturday Night Live” skit starring Anthony Michael Hall. I think I laughed at only one joke, and that was at the expense of another character. 

The strangest storyline was not the snot bubble in Padgett’s nose causing her to lose a sponsorship, but the one that led to Cameron riding to prom on a horse. That’s right, a horse. It was these moments in the movie that made me question my sanity.

The most uncomfortable part of the film was the inclusion of sponsorships. In one scene, two girls are drinking out of a core water bottle whose label is shown clearly from multiple angles. Later in the movie, you can see Pizza Hut boxes stacked in the corner to which one character says something along the lines of “let’s just enjoy this Pizza Hut.” Every scene with a sponsorship felt artificial. It was so obvious that the only intention of making this movie was for profit.

The movie ends with a cliche speech, similar to one given at the end of an episode of Ryan Murphy’s “Glee,” about being yourself and not caring about what others think. The predictability of this movie is what made my watching experience so incredibly boring.

I think the one saving grace of “He’s All That” was Matthew Lillard playing the principal. He was the only thing that kept me from screaming into my pillow when they started having a dance off at prom.

“He’s All That” was a cheap way for Netflix to make money. There was not a single person involved in this movie who actually cared. Overall it was a 2/10 — would not recommend.