Not ‘All That’: An Honest Critique of Netflix’s Newest Romcom


Source: IMDb

Lili Olson, Scoop Writer

“He’s All That” is a modern remake of the 90s romcom starring Rachael Leigh Cook and Freddy Prinze Jr. The plot of this movie (and many others) revolves around the trope that someone popular/rich/famous starts dating someone not so popular/rich/famous while life lessons are learned along the way. In my opinion, the original was lighthearted and fun, but the remake seemed tacky.

While I don’t think the story was inherently bad, my dislikes all revolve around how the movie was carried out. My main issues with the remake starring influencer Addison Rae and Tanner Buchanan include the brand deals, the acting and the clichès. 

The brand deals were extremely obvious, to the point of annoyance. You could not see a shot in the movie without there being a Frito-Lay product or an Old Navy logo. This interrupted the viewing experience and made the movie feel like one big advertisement. 

The next problem was the obvious acting. Every performance had little to no emotional depth, from the main characters, to Kourtney Kardashian in her cringe-worthy cameo. I was hoping for more comedy with Mark Waters as the director, but in all aspects, the execution fell flat. 

Finally, there were the clichés. These are inevitable, especially in a high school romance, but the more they added, the more boring the movie became. The abundance of platitudes gave the viewer a sense of déjà vu while watching, as the major themes were extremely overused. There was a prom, a dance-off, the “loner” character having some sort of tragedy in their past and the downfall of the “popular” character. It felt like they were ticking off boxes on “How to Make a Teen Movie” instead of being innovative and taking risks. 

In the future, my hope for Netflix is that they try to be more daring in their stories and include more outside of the box productions, instead of focusing on the financial benefits of making a mediocre movie with a Tiktok star and KFC sponsorship.