Movie Review: He’s All That


Manwela Katas

Padgett Sawyer is the main character in romantic teen comedy film “He’s All That”, portrayed by TikTok star Addison Rae. This movie was released by Netflix on August 25, 2021 and is a gender-swapped remake of the popular 1999 film “She’s All That”.

Padgett Sawyer is a high school student and well known influencer whose life is portrayed as perfect to the world, until her beloved boyfriend, Jordan Van Draanen, cheats on her–resulting in a meme of her going viral, destroying her reputation. Padgett claims that she shaped Jordan into a popular hip hop dancer and influencer, but her friend, Alden, resulting in Alden challenging Padgett to a bet where they choose a guy to be the new Jordan. Cameron Kwelle, the “weird” photography guy at school, is chosen to be made over by Padgett Sawyer; however, he doesn’t know this. Padgett then befriends Cameron, but things don’t go as planned when she ends up falling in love with him. During homecoming Padgett makes a speech to her classmates and her fans, admitting that her whole life online is a lie and that she’s not rich like people thought she was.

Much of the plot of the movie was only based on the two main leads. As we know, any good movie focuses on more than the main leads which this movie lacked. The movie follows a typical high school movie plot, and so is very cliche in a lot of ways. The dialogue between the characters was weak and also lacked a good dynamic. Moreover, the characters’ facial expressions felt forced, and so a lot of the acting was more theatrical acting rather than cinematic acting.

Compared to the classic film “She’s All That” the movie has been found to be very underwhelming. The Washington Post writes, “In the end, “He’s All That” is not all that — not even a little bit of that.” The movie received a lot of backlash because of the casting of Addison Rae since she has little-to-no acting experience, and many people claim that she only got the role because of her following. However, when looking at the movie objectively, as in separate from its parent film “She’s All That”,  the movie has mixed reviews.  Some people have found the movie to be cute and comforting. A fan mentions in a google review, “This movie had me smiling from ear to ear and giggling. I absolutely adored the chemistry and cheesiness of it all! Yes there are product placements and references to our current ages use of social media but it was befitting for the day and age we are living in! If you love rom-coms with high school mean girls, steamy/cheesy flirting and amazing side characters then this is a must watch!”. Overall, the movie has a 4.3/10 rating on IMDb.

Even though the film was not a fan favorite, it did deliver an important message to its audience. Padgett admits in the film to her audience that she lied about her entire life in order to make people like her more. She emphasized that being fake and giving people a false idea of who you are isn’t better than being yourself, even if you’re embarrassed about it. I believe that that is an essential message for people to hear. In the end, no matter how you feel about the movie, I think that at the least you can get a message out of it!