Image courtesy of usatoday.com
By Kat Kaderabek
A movie hated from its initial trailer release, the full hour and a half of He’s All That lived up to the dismal expectations of fans. Starring Tiktok-famous Addison Rae, the reimagining of She’s All That does not have the ‘it’ that made its cast famous. Following the same premise as the original, except this time with a gender reversal, the film follows Padget Sawyer as she undertakes a bet to make angry, mean outcast Cameron Kweller into the next Prom King.
Shallow, predictable, and boring, the film’s target audience is unpredictable. Is this a children’s film? Perhaps it was geared towards teenagers; however, several aspects of the film suggest it to be a watered-down teen drama. The plot seems to bounce back and forth on what is morally acceptable. Walking in on a cheating boyfriend is fine, as long as no alcohol is consumed or shown; however, it is perfectly acceptable to drop the f-bomb when angry. Nudity is frowned upon unless it’s Peyton Meyer ripping off his shirt in a totally dramatic, unwarranted, and cringe-worthy fashion.
Speaking of a naked Peyton Meyer, who plays the unlovable typical d-bag ex-boyfriend, his sex tape, but more like a gif, began trending following the release of the movie. With negative reviews circulating, fans have speculated that this was merely a PR stunt to boost his fame since Meyer had supposedly released the video on his OnlyFans according to The Sun. Both people featured in the fifteen-second clip have since addressed the press through unverified Tik Tok accounts. Appearing to comment on the pace of motions in the video, they posted a Spongebob meme that features Spongebob saying “Several months later.”
Regardless of the intent behind Meyer’s leaked video, his social media followings have gained several followers and his role in He’s All That is now trending on TikTok, even if it was subpar. Meyer’s role as the villain is completely over dramatic and exaggerated, potentially in an effort to make the film feel like a classic. Instead, the film felt overdone and overproduced.
From the obviously auto-tuned Addison singing to the infamous hand-disappearing act that trended on Tiktok, the film is filled with more mistakes and plot holes than swiss cheese. Specifically, a greenscreen catastrophe occurs during Addison’s performance of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” where her hand completely disappears into the green-screened beach behind her. The mistake was blasted all over Tiktok and the film was then labeled as “rushed” due to the obvious flaw.
While obviously rushed, the bigger question is if politics played a role in this Addison Rae film. The appearance of Addison’s real life best friend in the film, Kourtney Kardashian, was of no surprise. In the real world social scene, the two are inseparable. In the film, the two play estranged agent and star after Padget undergoes an embarrassing incident that leaves her an internet meme. If there is one thing the film proved, it’s that even though no one truly knows the talents of the Kardashian women, acting surely is not it.
In addition to her strained relationship with her brand sponsor, Padget Sawyer’s relationship with her best friends is also rocky terrain. In fact, her relationship with everyone seems a little shaky. Maybe that is because there was no emotional connection or chemistry between any of the characters. The movie felt like an edited, student-version filming of a movie, one that did not make it to the box office. Every line and every interaction felt like the audience was watching Addison Rae read a script, not Padget Sawyer “remake” and fall in love with Cameron Kweller, played by Tyler Buchanan. For a movie set on trying to remove the standards and unspoken “rules” regarding social media, this seemed incredibly fake. Addison’s fame stemmed from her social media presence and “perfect” image. However, here she is advocating against the image that made her famous in the first place. Perhaps this ironic situation is supposed to be Addison advocating for a lesson she learned the hard way.
There were so many moments that made the audience cringe, it was more horrifying than enjoyable. None of the characters had any depth, even though the original film sent the message about discovering someone’s true inner beauty instead of taking them at surface value.
It seems the writers and director decided to take every single cringey, overdone movie trend and throw it into He’s All That. This movie embodies everything wrong with romantic comedies; it even includes the following tropes: riding up on a horse, the sidekick becoming the villian, and yes, a dramatic, unnecessary, and cringe-worthy dance off against rival groups.
If there is one takeaway from this Netflix flop, it is that Tiktok stars should stick to their sixty second videos as opposed to sixty minute movies.