He’s All That review

He’s All That is a well-meaning update of the 1999 minor hit film She’s All That that ironically misses the message of the original. While appealing on a surface level, He’s All That lacks the charm, depth and heart of its inspiration.

There was an energy and liveliness to the original  — a spin on the Pygmalion play — that’s largely missing here. It didn’t hurt that She’s All That had an impressive ensemble supporting stars Rachel Leigh Cook and Freddie Prinze Jr.

Matthew Lillard and Jodi Lyn O’Keefe were fun over the top narcissists. Paul Walker made for a convincing frenemy. Anna Paquin and Kieran Culkin were fun younger siblings while Gabrielle Union, Dulé Hill, Debbie Morgan, Elden Henson and Kevin Pollak delivered memorable roles. As far as casts go, She’s All That was stacked.


Like the original, popular Padgett Sawyer (Tik Tok star Addison Rae) makes a bet with her friends to turn an outcast classmate into the prom king.

With the popular/loser roles reversed, screenwriter R. Lee Fleming Jr. (She’s All That) makes Padgett a high level influencer with a million followers. While this makes for a more contemporary approach, it doesn’t make Padgett the most relatable character since she does come off as shallow and more concerned about status. Fleming attempts to explain Padgett’s concern for her influencer brand as she’s using her checks to save for college.

Padgett catches her boyfriend, Jordan (Peyton Meyer, American Housewife), cheating and vows to make over any dude to be as popular. Her pals, Alden (Madison Pettis) and Quinn (Myra Molloy), figure Cameron Tanner Buchanan, Cobra Kai) will prove the most interesting challenge. Cameron is anti-college, anti-technology and antisocial.


Cook’s Laney Boggs was a more layered outcast. She had ambitions of being an artist with encouragement from her teachers while struggling to deal with her mother’s death. With her father taxed from work, Laney also had to function as the caretaker for her younger brother while working a part-time job. Cameron isn’t as nuanced and leans on weak convictions that fade far too quickly once Padgett starts showing an interest.

Padgett’s arc is also not as strong as the original. Prinze’s Zack was a jock fighting pressure from his father to attend his alma mater, who discovers a new creative side he never knew existed. Padgett’s big realization is she doesn’t have to put on a perfect image for people to like her.

Director Mark Waters (Vampire Academy) incorporates social media effects with livestream perspectives and pop-up text bubbles well. The film doesn’t look bad although it lacks much creativity with the locales. There’s certainly no oddly fun moment like the arthouse performance from the original.


Here’s a fun game. While watching the film, try and count all of the unnecessary products not so conspicuously placed throughout scenes. Cam’s best friend Nisha (Annie Jacob) shamelessly asks if she can take some KFC to go from a party seemingly for the sole purpose of holding the bucket up in the backseat.

Not surprisingly, Rae comes off the most natural when channeling Padgett’s charismatic influencer side. While the romance with Cam seems incredibly rushed, Rae has solid chemistry with Buchanan. Rae is not nearly as convincing when it’s time for the big breakup and apology scenes. Buchanan is OK though he doesn’t retain much of Cam’s disregard for anything early on after hanging out with Padgett. There’s a storyline reason for that, but it seems like Nisha would have helped on that front earlier.

There’s some LGBTQ+ representation that feels more out of obligation than a concerted effort to do something with those characters. In fairness, most of the characters aren’t well developed so that’s not unique to then.


Meyer tries, but he can’t manage a fraction of the scene stealing lunatic energy Lillard gave in the original. It’s telling that Lillard’s cameo in He’s All That is one of the film’s better moments. Cook returns as well albeit playing a different character, Anna Sawyer, so we can all pretend Laney and Zack married and lived happily ever after.

Isabella Crovetti, who plays Cam’s sister, Brin, proves a very welcome addition to the cast. Crovetti provides the film’s strongest performance in a touching although slightly emotionally manipulative scene determined to pull at heartstrings. At least Crovetti knows how to pull it off.

Alden’s jealousy turn feels more conniving than earned. And her endgame of stealing Jordan feels embarrassingly outdated. This was weird as it made Aldon look like she was content to take Padgett’s sloppy seconds instead of pursuing the new hot guy Padgett “made over” in Cameron.


Fans of She’s All That will likely need to lose a bet to say this update matches up to the original. He’s All That doesn’t have any of the elements that would inspire anyone to want to remake it 30 years from now. Leave this on the moonlit floor and find a Blu-Ray or DVD copy of She’s All That instead.

Rating: 5 out of 10

Photo Credit: Netflix