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Let’s Admit it: It’s Fun to Watch Bad Movies

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

I have always been a chick-flick fan. It’s been that way since I was a kid; I have vivid memories of watching movies from the ’90s and early 2000s with stars in my eyes as the main characters took off their glasses and brushed back their silky hair. My favourite movie was She’s All That. As a somewhat dorky 12-year-old, I had always admired the typical Cinderella story. 

So, when I found out that they were making a gender-swapped remake of the movie starring the notorious TikTok star Addison Rae, I was less than thrilled (which is why I immediately added it to my “To Watch” list on Netflix). I wanted to see how big the train wreck was – I was so excited for it to be bad. After all, Netflix does have a bit of a reputation for churning out cringey, clearly-written-by-people-who-don’t-know-how-to-use-social-media movies set in high school. He’s All That was right up their alley.

When I finally sat down to watch it, the last thing I expected was to actually enjoy the movie.

By all accounts, He’s All That is not high art. In fact, it was just as silly and awkward as I’d imagined it to be, filled with product placement and strange logic (like how Addison’s character Padgett was shunned online for being cheated on? That makes absolutely no sense). The movie was oddly paced, and for something starring a TikTok influencer, it seemed to have no idea about how influencing or the internet actually works. Yet, there I was, chomping down on my popcorn and eating up all the shenanigans that the characters got themselves into. I was invested! I booed when the cheating ex-boyfriend was on screen; I aww-ed when the two main characters were getting closer and cheered when they finally got together in the end. 

And then, as the credits rolled, I thought to myself: wait, if this movie was so bad, why did I like watching it so much?

As somebody who tries to be conscious of the media I’m consuming, I think sometimes I forget that movies are also meant to be enjoyed. Sure, lots of films have deeper meanings and amazing cinematography, coupled with social commentary or critique. Don’t get me wrong—I love a good film analysis. But it’s easy to forget that entertainment is also supposed to do just that: entertain. Who cares if a movie is certified fresh or rotten if you have fun watching it?

It’s fun to watch bad movies and laugh at the silliness and predictability of it all. There’s a reason that He’s All That hit number one on Netflix in over 70 countries. Sometimes, when there’s so much going on, all you want to do is have a good, low-pressure laugh. There’s a certain kind of joy in watching movies that aren’t critically acclaimed. You go into them with the lowest of expectations, and there’s not a lot to be disappointed by, which means that your enjoyment levels can only go up!

In the end, is He’s All That better than the original? Of course not. Will it ever be hailed as a classic? Definitely not. But, is it going to be a movie I throw on when I need some laughs? Absolutely. 

So, Netflix? I’ve heard you have some more trope-filled teen movies on your docket. Bring ’em on.

Samantha Ti

Ryerson '24

Samantha is a second-year media production student with a passion for screenwriting and music. She loves sitcoms, Taylor Swift, and predictable, trope-y love stories. As someone who enjoys writing complicated characters, you'll often find Samantha at a local café taking note of the people and dynamics around her, or deep into the world of yet another story.
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