He’s not all that

With TikTok stars taking the world by storm, I wasn’t exactly surprised to see that one influencer, Addison Rae, was set to star in a movie. Considering Rae had no previous acting experience, my expectations for “He’s All That” were low. The film was released Aug. 25 on Netflix and, out of fear, I avoided watching it for as long as I could. Needless to say, I should have avoided it indefinitely. 

The movie is a remake of the 1999 film “She’s All That,” but the Netflix original version reverses the main character role to come from the perspective of a modern female social media influencer. In the movie, after being cheated on by her ex-boyfriend Jordan Van Draanen (Peyton Meyer), Padgett Sawyer (Addison Rae) makes a bet with her friend that she can give a ‘loser’ a makeover and make him popular enough to win prom king. She chooses to reinvent Cameron Kweller (Tanner Buchanan), a boy who spends most of his time taking photos and tending to horses. Cameron is unaware of Padgett’s plans to give him a makeover. As Padgett gets closer to creating her ideal version of Cameron, she starts to fall for him.

I must start off by sharing the fact that I am probably not the ideal audience for this film. Within the first 15 minutes of the movie, I assumed this movie was meant for middle schoolers, even though Netflix rated it TV-14. And not just any middle schoolers, but the ones consumed by their phones, who keep up with all the latest TikTok drama and probably run a Charli D’Amelio fan account. Almost all of the characters seem to have large social media followings and never fail to make that known. It seems unrealistic that so many people at one high school would be famous, and even then, I don’t think most people would brag about it.

Other parts of the movie were honestly uncomfortable to watch. I couldn’t seem to relax while watching this because the acting and screenwriting made me tense up from how cringey it was. During a scene that took place at the prom, they had a dance battle — I almost had to turn off the TV — I wish I could unsee their horrible dancing, but the images are burned into my brain. This scene continued to prove to me that the movie was not an accurate portrayal of high school.

While most of the film was insufferable, I was somewhat pleased with the ending of the film. While Cameron appearing at prom riding a horse was definitely something that gave me secondhand embarrassment, the movie could have had a worse ending. It resolved the conflict in the plot quite quickly, but could have dragged out the ending scenes a little longer to make it more enjoyable for older viewers, as those scenes were much less humiliating than the rest of the movie. 

Overall, I would not recommend this movie to anyone over the age of 13. The film is filled with cliches and cringey portrayals of high school social media stars. Part of me wishes I could have back the time I spent watching this movie, but honestly it was fun to laugh at all the awkward moments. If you know a socially awkward middle-schooler obsessed with TikTokers, maybe watch “He’s All That” the next time you babysit them.