"No, not Janey Briggs. She's got glasses. And a ponytail. Ugh, she's got paint on her overalls!" Thus ensue the immortal lines spoken by Chris Evans in Not Another Teen Movie that slew the savage beast that was 1999's She's All That, the teen movie that was brave enough to take the stance that any ugly duckling could turn into a beautiful swan if she took her glasses off and was already a Hollywood beauty to begin with. It's 2021. We thought we were safe. We were wrong.

He's All That is the gender-swapped remake we never knew we never wanted, straight from Netflix's lips to God's ears. While detailing the plot, I will attempt to replicate how smoothly and seamlessly the CORE WATER product placement is executed in this movie. Padgett Sawyer (Addison Rae, who from what I can tell is a rather maligned TikTok star though I have no frame of reference for this - though she is a startlingly uncharismatic dancer for someone whose brand is based around the art form) is a PORTO'S teen social media influencer who specializes in makeovers and lives a completely fake superficial life, to the point that she doesn't even let her friends know she and her struggling nurse mother (Rachael Leigh Cook from the original film) live in - ew - a regular-sized house and not a luxury apartment.

She and her crew go to Cali High School (as a native Californian, this name is like being spit on) in the Pacific Palisades (again, as a native Californian, I can confirm everyone in the Palisades is like this). One of her most successful makeovers is her boyfriend Jordan (Peyton Meyer), a douchebag with a OREO viral music video. While surprising him on the set of a new video, she goes live on Instagram before walking in on him cheating on her. When she gets mad and EOS LIP GLOSS pelts him with baked treats, her followers all hate her for it. I'd call that unbelievable, but honestly that's pretty much how the Internet treats women.

Anyway, she loses her sponsorship because when she was mad she had a snot bubble in her nose (this really happens). She needs to FRITOS go viral again pronto to impress her brand partner Jessica (Kourtney Kardashian, present only on the phone and transparently filming from her own balcony) so she and her mustache-twirlingly evil friend Alden (Madison Pettis) make a bet that she can't makeover a guy into PIZZA HUT becoming Prom King. The only catch is that Alden gets to choose the guy and she makes things hard for Padgett when she chooses Cameron (Tanner Buchanan) a ripped twunk photographer with a jawline that goes all the way around and back again. This is going to be such a challenge for her because he wears a beanie and doesn't like prom. Woe is her! Oh, and they fall in love eventually, of course. KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN!

He's All That

This is a film so obsessed with branding that the soundtrack features "Electric" by Katy Perry, a hideously tacky inspirational song that was written to promote an entirely different brand (namely the Pokémon 25th anniversary). I could almost convince myself He's All That was going for a Josie and the Pussycats level of savage cultural satire, but this movie clearly isn't that smart. The only moment that seems to understand what it's doing is Padgett's morning routine, which is presented in a series of Edgar Wright quick cuts depicting each step in grotesque closeup.

I didn't know mediocrity could feel so much like an assault.  He's All That assembles its teen movie tropes that were threadbare in 1999 (precocious little sister, useless queer side characters, "if you break my best friend's heart, I'll break you," etc. etc.) with such palpable disdain for its audience that it stings. The acting is brutally efficient, usually just one degree off from what one would usually deem a "line reading." It proceeds through its plot developments at a sprint because it knows you've seen this movie before. Not specifically that you've seen She's All That. Just, any movie.

There are only two places where the movie carves its own path, the first being that both the leads are despicable human beings. According to the way the script functions, we're supposed to understand that while Cameron may need to melt his icy exterior a bit, he's the voice of reason who will change Padgett for the better. Yes. This "I'm going to wipe off your makeup in order to deem you worthy of my affection" nice guy. This "I'm not in it for the money - I'm going to take photos of strangers minding their own business at Union Station because poor people are so goddamn authentic" sensitive fucking saint. To be fair, almost any artistic teen boy is exactly like this, but the movie wants us to think he's a knight in shining armor (he does ride a horse, if that counts).

He's All That

The second diversion from the norm is that when it's truly bad, it's bad in an incredibly weird way. He's All That is perfect fodder for a group of friends looking to vigorously backtalk the shit out of a terrible movie. One must have an extremely high tolerance for Gen Z teen nonsense filtered through decades of Gen X teen nonsense (every teenage boy's outfit could be carbon dated to 2003 and no later), but if you can make it there it's certainly rewarding. I wouldn't dare spoil the film's best moments (my #1 is a line about Skittles that comes out of the clear blue sky and actually is genuinely funny), but here are a couple highlights to whet your appetite:

  • The romantic horse manure fight

  • The makeover scene that accidentally becomes an erotic shaving fetish video

  • The prom that doesn't just become a dance competition but is officially branded as such by the school committee, in which Addison Rae's energy is a cross between Jamie Lee Curtis' Prom Night disco interlude and Porky Pig's rap from Space Jam: A New Legacy

  • the establishing shot of one scene, where Cameron's 14-year-old sister is sitting at a kitchen island casually browsing the Old Navy web site on her laptop

This is the exact kind of zestily awful yet mediocre-because-it's-Netflix movie that is impossible give a star rating, so feel free to ignore that 2 stars if you want. But I had a good time having a terrible time. I suppose I should be kind and throw out a compliment before I take a rage nap. He's All That's choice to have multiple social media feeds scroll across the screen at once during certain scenes does perfectly highlight the mania of something going terribly wrong on the Internet. Brennan out.

Brennan Klein is a millennial who knows way more about 80's slasher movies than he has any right to. He's a former host of the Attack of the Queerwolf podcast and a current senior movie/TV news writer at Screen Rant. You can find his other reviews on his blog Popcorn Culture. Follow him on Twitter or Letterboxd, if you feel like it.