In 1999, I was still chilling in the womb, so I wasn’t able to make the premiere. (Although, my mom vaguely recalls watching the film. Obviously, it wasn’t that memorable.)
That being said, “He’s All That” came as a pleasant surprise to me. I’m 22, so I’m in that weird age gap where I remember having a flip phone at one point, but I also enjoy the occasional TikTok.
Unless you live under a rock, you probably have heard the name Addison Rae at some point. She is the “it girl” of TikTok, (kind of like the Miley or Selena of the 2020s.) According to Forbes, Rae brought in seven figures from JUST making TikTok’s in 2020– so yeah, she’s popular.
It’s not a surprise that Rae is starting her film career. She is new, entertaining, and let’s face it: absolutely beautiful. All of those qualities combined landed her the starring role on “She’s All That.”
So, now that we’ve had our Addison Rae history lesson, let’s jump into the movie itself.
Let me start by saying this movie is NOT for everyone. But if you are like me, and love an easy, happy-go-lucky film that revolves around young love, you will like it. It’s incredibly cringy and cliche, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The film starts with an overview of the main character, Padgett’s (Addison Rae) bedroom. It’s plush, pink, and very “Legally Blonde” opening credits-esque. She wakes up and immediately puts on makeup to say good morning to her followers because she is a huge influencer. So basically, so far, this is a biography of Rae’s real life.
She then goes to meet her friends, who pick her up in the typical top-down vehicle that is in every coming-of-age film to signify the upper class. (Think “Mean Girls”.) But plot twist– she does not get picked up from her (very decent and normal) middle-class house. Instead, they pick her up from the nearby luxury lofts. Apparently, she has to lie about who she is and where she lives to stay popular.
Padgett then finds her boyfriend cheating on her and throws desert at him, having a total meltdown while her friend, Alden (Madison Pettis), keeps recording for her thousands of followers. Like sis, just stop recording and comfort your friend.
Then, for some odd reason, Kourtney Kardashian calls and drops Padgett’s sponsorship for having a very understandable meltdown.
Flash forward, Padgett and Alden make a deal to find a “loser” at the school and give him a full makeover to win back her followers and sponsorship. This is the whole point of the movie, which is not a great storyline, but again, we are watching for easy entertainment, not Steven Speilberg-level plots.
Padgett chooses Cameron (Tanner Buchanan), a long-haired creative with skater-boy charm. Who by the way, in my high school was not considered a loser, but considered cool.
We then see them singing a popular Katy Perry tune at a party because Padgett’s ex shows up and she can’t continue singing alone, so Cameron hops on stage and helps her finish the song. Padgett also does some iconic TikTok dances to pay homage to the real-life Addison Rae’s career. It’s cute and quirky and Cameron realizes maybe he likes Padgett.
Cameron is guarded at first about the popular it-girl randomly interested in him but lets her give him a makeover anyway.
Moving right along, there is an 80’s style makeover montage scene that we all love and cherish, and Cameron finds the perfect outfit to not look like a “loser” anymore. Cameron then allows Padgett to cut his long shaggy hair, turning him from Shawn Hunter of Boy Meets World to a groomed Jared Leto in a GQ magazine.
After seeing his final transformation, Padgett starts to fall in love with Cameron because he no longer looks like a “loser.” It’s pretty shallow if you ask me. Cameron has a pretty great personality throughout the movie and likes her for her, not her outer beauty. But, Padgett just wants to win the bet she made with Alden.
So the couple is falling in love with each other, and just when you start to enjoy the romance– BAM! They take it away from us. Cameron is prom-posing to Padgett, and Alden, obviously jealous and petty, takes it upon herself to tell Cameron the only reason Padgett is with him is to win a bet. Cameron cusses at Padgett in anger and flees.
This part actually made me sad because I was starting to really enjoy them as a couple. But don’t worry, it’s a rom-com, so it’s not really over!
We are nearing the end of the movie and Padgett is heading to prom alone. There is a random dance battle led by Padgett against Alden and Padgett’s ex who Alden is now dating. There is a very brief mention of Padgett being a part of the school’s dance team early on in the movie, but otherwise, this dance battle made absolutely no sense and was pointless.
Padgett wins prom queen and explains to everyone she has been putting on a fake persona to her followers and sponsorships for clout. (Again, think Lindsay Lohan at the end of “Mean Girls”).
As expected, Cameron shows up (on a horse) at the prom, and they fall back in love because Cameron realizes he still cares about her even though she totally manipulated him.
The film ends with Padgett and Cameron on horses in a foreign country. Padgett explains to her followers she is going to be completely authentic and real as a travel influencer. There is no mention of how they got enough money to travel the world or if they even finished high school, but this plot hole comes as no surprise honestly.
So, overall, this movie should not be taken seriously. It’s a great film for a cozy night in with the girlfriends and a bottle of wine. Not everyone is going to enjoy this movie, especially if you are expecting a lot.
For her first movie, Rae did a wonderful job. She is a decent actor who I foresee being in the entertainment industry for a long time. Same for the up-and-coming star Buchanan.
If you decide to watch “He’s All That” don’t take it too seriously. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the film for what it is: a coming of age rom-com for people under 20.