Viewers shouldn’t expect anything swoon-worthy in Netflix’s generic He’s All That.
Based on the 1999 film She’s All That, the gender-swapping He’s All That doesn’t stray too far from the original. A popular girl breaks up with her hot, internet-famous boyfriend after she finds him cheating, only to make a bet with her friends to make some loser at school into an attractive guy. There’s not much to the movie other than a bunch of shallow characters and a big predictable “ah-ha” moment the main character receives on prom night (of course). In the end, He’s All That is a mind-numbing movie.
Real-life Tiki-Tok star Addison Rae (who boasts 81 million followers) plays Padgett Sawyer, who is also a young social media influencer. And with a name like Padgett, she really is quite the drama queen. Unfortunately, Rae’s lack of acting experience shows, even after her social media posts go live.
When Padgett finds out her boyfriend Jordan (Peyton Meyer) was cheating on her, her reaction is, well…dramatic. And not in a good way. She sees the another girl, cries big tears, and snot falls out of her nose. The scene seems to have purposely made the breakup dramatic for comedy’s sake (maybe), but Padgett really doesn’t seem all that affected by having her heart broken. She’s just putting on yet another performance. Rae’s merely playing the part of a heartbroken girl, and every acting decision is telegraphed on her face.
There’s no shortage of awkward moments in the film. One of these scenes include when Padgett and the “loser” she pretends she’s into because of the bet, Cameron Kweller (Cobra Kai’s Tanner Buchanan) first start talking. Padgett keeps trying to chat up the reserved and pessimistic Cameron, even when he clearly has no interest in the conversation. Eventually, the awkwardness loosens up between them, but the cringe moments never stop.
Some aspects of He’s All That are enjoyable enough. Despite their awkward introduction, watching as Padgett and Cameron get to know each other is occasionally charming, which might be a stretch due to their superficial relationship. We see Padgett getting to know the real Cameron, who keeps a lot of personal interests to himself.
Also, we get to see what Cameron looks like with his new makeover, though it isn’t much of a surprise as he basically just gets a haircut and a new wardrobe. Not to mention the trailer, if you even took time to watch it, spoils just about everything you would need to know about this ‘90s rom-com remake.
He’s All That lacks depth, even if you’re not really expecting much to begin with. Sure, Padgett realizes something about herself along the way, but what she learns is predictable. This formulaic romantic comedy is cluttered with stereotypical characters from the “popular fake girl” to the “slacker with a heart of gold.” While movies don’t need a deep message to entertain viewers—sometimes just makeovers and a random love story is enough to make the audience swoon—in the long haul, He’s All That isn’t all that much.