Turn off light Favorite Comments (0)

He’s All That Review – Is as Cringe-Worthy as it is Unnecessary

In today’s content-obsessed culture, remakes have become a common occurrence. Because there isn’t much creativity on the popular horizon, filmmakers have resorted to reshuffling, updating, or simply recycling previous themes. While the inspiration for Mark Waters’ “He’s All That” comes from a long line of adapted and updated source material, his modern-day remake and generic gender switch on 1999 teen favorite rom-com “She’ All That” is as unpleasant as the many updates on the said social media applications. It is both unneeded and provides no purpose.

When I talk about a lineage of remakes, let’s go back to the beginning of this disaster. In truth, the 1999 adolescent rom-com was inspired by the 1964 George Cukor picture “My Fair Lady,” which was based from George Bernard Shaw’s play “Pygmalion.” The unifying thread in these subsequent variations of the same fundamental plot was always the human fascination with turning another human into something they connect with being a better version of themselves.

Waters’ 2021 update is focused with followers, whereas Robert Iscove’s 1999 film was obsessed with on-floor school popularity. This is only correct since the modern world is also concerned with it. So much so that the Gen-Z generation has been conditioned to believe that if they don’t have a social media presence, they don’t exist.

In terms of the film, Addison Rae plays Padgett Sawyer in “He’s All That.” A young, dedicated girl who is working her way through high school and aspiring to be a social media influencer who helps people’makeover’ their lives. The opening montage depicts her waking up, putting on a little cosmetics, and then reawakening for her fans. Her mother, a single parent, is doing everything she can to keep things going. But, behind closed doors, she is living a lie.

See also  Everybody's Talking About Jamie Review

Her sophisticated, wealthy pals are unaware that she does not live in a luxury property and is instead trying to make ends meet. In any case, that isn’t the point of the film remaining on for more than a few seconds. The major focus shifts to Padgett’s college and then to her boyfriend — a well-known musician who is filming a music video somewhere in town. Padgett is humiliated and saddened when she discovers that he is cheating on her while she is on set streaming live. The film, once again, does not revel in these moments and swiftly moves on to Padgett becoming the butt of all jokes and memes based on her sensitive moments.

At the same time, we meet Cameron Kweller (Tanner Buchanan), a cynical, anti-social young man with a slacker demeanor. The guy has long hair, wears a beanie, keeps an old-school phone, likes horses and photography, and isn’t interested in going to college or making friends with the screen-obsessed people.

It is at this point that the film decides to let Padgett’s friend Alden (Madison Pettis) challenge her to change this shaggy boy into the prom king in less than 6 weeks. Padgett, who recently lost her sponsor (a one-note Kourtney Kardashian) due to being viral for the wrong reason, is trying to regain her’makeover’ status.

The rest of the film unfolds just as you would expect. Of course, despite the lack of connective tissue connecting them, Padgett and Cameron are drawn to one another. Of course, Pagett will do everything she can to maintain her phony persona until she simply can’t. And, of course, one of her pals will discover some truth about her, causing the film to plunge into its most pressing conflict.

See also  Emergency Ending Explained: Are Kunle and Carlos Arrested? 

What we don’t realize as spectators is how boring and unappealing the film can be. We are all aware that social media has become a very useful instrument for exploring adolescent concerns in recent years. Films like Eight Grade (2018) go further in addressing its impact and unfathomable weight on young minds, but minor diversions like The DUFF (2015) likewise perform the necessary by marking out how it shapes lives. He’s All That doesn’t do anything with the premise. More importantly, the narrative storyline, written by R. Lee Fleming Jr. (a middle-aged man), is so far removed from these young people’s realities that the concept of ‘putting your phone down and looking at the world through your eyes’ feels like a blunder.

The two main characters have shared their grief over their parents’ deaths, but the actors never manage to make their relationship feel tangible. Addison Rae, the lead actor, is a TikTok star rather than a professional actor. She never delves into Padgett’s sensitivity and tragedy, making the character feel like a blank canvas for the viewer to fill in. Tanner Buchanan performs slightly better, although his influence is diminished due to a lack of screen time. Isabella Crovetti, who plays Cameron’s younger sister Brin, is the only performer that shines in this role.

Travis Sittard’s editing has to be one of the film’s major problems. He is so preoccupied with quick cuts that you only see one character for a few seconds. This not only dilutes the effect of a sequence, but it utterly screws with a viewer’s concept of participation. The re-done version of the dance-off near the conclusion is terrible and detracts significantly from Usher’s original version.

See also  Total Dhamaal (2019)

The only redeeming element of the film is how it updates the original’s blatant and problematic attitude. By playing it for laughs, the 1999 film objectified women and even glorified harassment. He’s All That avoids these concerns, even if it does tell its lead character that she should just remove her makeup and let her true beauty shine through. But I’d overlook that one. Aside than that, “He’s All That” is a stilted romance that leans too heavily on elements that aren’t present.

He’s All That Review – Is as Cringe-Worthy as it is Unnecessary
He’s All That Review – Is as Cringe-Worthy as it is Unnecessary
He’s All That Review – Is as Cringe-Worthy as it is Unnecessary
He’s All That Review – Is as Cringe-Worthy as it is Unnecessary
He’s All That Review – Is as Cringe-Worthy as it is Unnecessary
He’s All That Review – Is as Cringe-Worthy as it is Unnecessary
He’s All That Review – Is as Cringe-Worthy as it is Unnecessary
He’s All That Review – Is as Cringe-Worthy as it is Unnecessary
He’s All That Review – Is as Cringe-Worthy as it is Unnecessary

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.