Picture it. The year is 1999, you and your crew are killing time until you head into the movies to watch the latest Teen Movie coming to theaters. 1999 was the YEAR for iconic Teen Movies: from 10 Things I Hate About You, Varsity Blues, Cruel Intentions, Never Been Kissed, Jaw Breaker, Idle Hands, American Pie, and so many more! The idea of reimagining any of these films is almost blasphemous. Until now. He’s All That takes the iconic film, She’s All That which starred Rachel-Leigh Cook, Freddie Prinze Jr, Paul Walker, Gabrielle Union, Dule Hill, Paul Walker, and even Usher – yes, the singer/dancer/icon.

She’s All That tells the story of a High School It boy, Zach Siler (Prinze Jr.) who gets dumped by his girlfriend aka the most popular girl in school. In a scheme to revive his reputation, Zach takes on a bet that he can take Laney Boggs (Cook) and turn her into the next prom queen. He’s All That gives us the same storyline but brings us into the Gen-Z century with a gender swap, queer representation, and the struggles of being able to afford to go to college. 

He’s All That tells the story of Padgett Sawyer (Addison Rae), a “Makeover Girl” of social media. Who, after an embarrassing video of herself goes viral after a huge and very public breakup with her wannabe popstar boyfriend, loses her biggest sponsor and has no idea how she will now afford to go to college and pursue her dreams. In an attempt to regain her popularity, salvage her online reputation, and win her sponsorship back, Padgett takes on the bet that she can turn the school’s least popular boy, Cameron Kweller (Tanner Buchanan), into prom king. 

The Verdict On He’s All That

Now, I’m not going to say that He’s All That is a brand new invention of the ugly duckling story. We’re talking Pigmaleon here, how many times and different ways can you give us the My Fair Lady? However, this version manages to give us a gender-swapped version of almost all the same scenes, beats, and storylines, but somehow make it feel fresh, new, and exciting. I honestly don’t know how they did it. I was watching this film grinning ear to ear, not looking at my phone, and enjoying myself to the very end.

Addison Rae as Padgett is absolutely charming. I found her performance to be fun, joyful, and an absolute ray of sunshine on screen. Tanner Buchanan has been one of my favorites since seeing him on Cobra Kai. He is just as charming as Cameron. I also believed in the chemistry between Rae and Buchanan every step of the way because if they didn’t work, the film wouldn’t either. I also found a huge standout star of the film to be Petyon Meyer (Girl Meets World). His take on a high school F*ck boy douchebag to be stellar and would make any Brock Hudson type proud to pass down the torch. 

My only issue with the film is the use of Rachel Leigh-Cook and Matthew Lillard. If you’re going to bring back original cast members, why make them all-new characters? There isn’t any reason Rachel couldn’t play Laney and have Padgett be her daughter. I also love the idea that Brock Hudson (Lillard) has become an educator. Then he really could’ve let it fly at prom. Overall, I found He’s All That to be a fun, end-of-the-summer movie, It was entertaining, well-paced, perfectly cast, and a joy to watch. I hope you enjoy it too!