“He’s All That” Review: Addison Rae should stick to dancing, not acting


Image via Netflix

Netflix’s new rom-com “He’s All That” is the gender-bent remake of the classic 1999 hit “She’s All That,” starring TikTok influencer Addison Rae.

By Julia DiPietro, Staff Writer

Katy Perry karaoke pool parties and “Drop it like F. Scott” Great Gatsby birthdays are just the start of the over-the-top elements incorporated in Netflix’s new original movie, “He’s All That.” 

“He’s All That” is the gender-bent remake of the classic 1999 hit “She’s All That,” and just another example of a cliché teenage rom-com revival that didn’t need to be made in the first place. 

The story follows Padgett Sawyer (Addison Rae), a social media influencer from California, on a mission to regain her followers and sponsorship money after an embarrassing video goes viral of her walking in on her cheating boyfriend. She makes a bet that she can win back her reputation by building a new prom king “it” boy, in loner Cameron Kweller (Tanner Buchanan).

Essentially, the plot follows the same basic story line of every coming-of-age movie — a popular conceited high school student resolves a problem by giving a makeover to an outcast and uses them for their own personal gain. 

The two leads fall in love, bonding over the loss of Cameron’s mother and his love for photography. Once again, we have another teen movie involving a tragic backstory death of a parent. To no one’s surprise they fall in love, but their bliss is derailed when Cameron finds out about the bet. They fight and then inevitably make up once Padgett apologizes with a long speech about her insecurities. 

The only true difference in this film compared to other rom-coms is that instead of using real actors, TikTok star Addison Rae plays the protagonist. Her performance should be off the charts considering she basically plays her real-life self, however, that isn’t the case. In truth, by casting Rae, Netflix has made it clear that anyone with money can be on TV and has taken roles from countless talented actors.

Tanner Buchanan’s performance is better in his role as the mysterious loner transformed by Rae into a gorgeous pretty boy. However, the “makeover” really only consisted of a haircut, which in my opinion didn’t need changing in the first place. 

The magical makeover is a far too common trope for movies and TV shows. While it may be entertaining to watch the characters get spruced up, it reinforces the idea that acceptance from others solely comes from looks. 

In other un-shocking news, “He’s All That” incorporates way too many current references, with conversation overloaded with talk of social media followers, duck faces, livestreaming and internet memes. This obliterates the element of a timeless movie feel and can only be enjoyable to a 14-year-old Gen-Zer. 

This movie chooses to promote spoiled teenage rich kids who live in fancy mansions and wear expensive and frankly unattractive clothing. Even the food consumed is extravagant, from red cherry pop rock mocktails to almond flour croquembouches. 

On a more positive note, besides Rae, the acting isn’t terrible. There are actually a few stars that make an appearance and a few newcomers who had a solid performance. Rachael Leigh Cook from the original film plays Padgett’s mother. Matthew Lillard plays the school principal and, with his 10 minutes of screen time, has better acting skills than Rae during the entire movie. 

Of course, no Netflix film is complete without a guest appearance by a random unneeded celebrity. In this case, Kourtney Kardashian plays Rae’s wealthy sponsor. 

There is also a pretty diverse soundtrack with the songs “For A Minute” by WizTheMC and “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer. This song parallels the original “She’s All That,” as it was used in both ending scenes. 

I was excited to see some former Disney actress familiar faces, such as Madison Pettis from “The Game Plan” and “Cory In The House” and Peyton Meyer from “Girl Meets World”. 

My expectations for “He’s All That” were extremely low, and they weren’t exceeded. I did, however, find myself laughing out loud at some cringey scenes and enjoyed a few heartfelt moments from the side characters. 

Hiring Rae inevitably forces viewers to focus solely on her indecent acting, and turns the movie into a joke. The only thing worse than unprofessional acting is an unnecessary and random dance off — even if Rae and Pettis’ dance off was pretty solid choreography wise. 

If you’re looking for a movie to watch, I would recommend this film but for all the wrong reasons. The plot is more comical than the actual jokes. Instead of being let down by another failed movie remake, stick to watching the original “She’s All That,” and enjoy a ‘90s throwback filled with nostalgia.