on September 29, 2001
Ah...yet another reason for me to hate my generation...or at least the way it's portrayed. This film was so cliche that it made me want to scream. A hint to the writers of these retarded teen flicks....ORIGINALITY! Get some! Anyway, this film was far too typical. Highschool is nothing like the way they show it in the movies. There is no real pronounced group that "rules the school" and if there was it certainly would not be the Mr. America jocks and all-american teen cheerleaders. Who writes these movies anyway? The acting was generally poor and the number one reason NOT to see this movie is Freddie Prinze Jr. He's just a bad actor and he isn't even all that good looking yet girls keep flocking too see him because they can't watch a movie for substance. What is Hollywood trying to brainwash others of my age with. This movie left me feeling very much sick and angry and funny enough, my stomach seemed to feel worse the second Prinze entered any scene. This disgusted me...end of review.
on August 1, 2001
Let's get one thing straight before I make my critique: for those who are expecting an earnest depiction of high school students and high school life, look elsewhere. "She's All That" is as over-the-top as it can get and the movie ironically contains random jokes and parodies about supposedly realistic programs as well, namely the MTV-spawned reality show "The Real World" and its progeny series "Road Rules". This movie is all in good fun but it does manage to hint at a good deal of real life trifles that particular people suffer in that highly-influential and barely survivable place that we geeks and outsiders call "high school". Well, maybe not "high school" (probably closer to HELL), but anyone who was picked on or unjustifiably ostracized gets the picture.
The endearing Rachael Leigh Cook and Freddie Prinze, Jr. star in this sugary ditty about a dude named Zack Silar (Prinze) who is ditched by his long-time armpiece Taylor Vaughn (O'Keefe) only six weeks before the prom. He suffers public humiliation in front of his jock companions and, moreover, the entire school. His less-than-sympathetic pal Dean (Walker) proposes a bet which the illustrious school president can't pass up: Dean will hand-pick the geekiest girl in the school and within the time allotted, Zack must transform her into a mega-babe and make her more than eligible for the elite status of prom queen. The deal is on and within only two minutes of searching, the "scary and inaccessible" Laney Boggs (Cook) makes her appearance by falling flat on her face in the courtyard - Dean has found his guinea pig. From here, Prinze and Cook do the traditional and recycled theme of geek-to-goddess. Suspension of disbelief is a pre-requisite for this transformation - the pretty and petite Cook is hardly an ugly duckling by any standard, her luminous brown eyes and almost pixie-ish beauty a complete distraction, even when she is supposed to look mousy (tortoiseshell glasses, stringy hair, sloppy clothes, etc.). Prinze comes off humble and sweet even when he is trying to be suave and arrogant, but this doesn't ruin anything. We rather want to see him that way because we want to believe that he really does care about Laney and that his reputation is the last thing on his mind. Prinze does this remarkably well. Matthew Lillard of "Scream" fame is a riot as a fictitious Real World cast member Brock Landers, a character that is obviously modeled from the obnoxious and insensitive Puck from Real World San Francisco. Of course, he's a lot more likeable because his character is a complete farce and Lillard almost steals the show. Almost unbearable is Paul Walker as Dean Sampson, the narcissistic jock who places the bet with Zack and manipulates it in his favor. Walker's delivery is so forced and obtuse that one would believe that is truly HIS nature and not just his character. Jodi Lyn O'Keefe is a comedic queen as the vacuous Taylor Vaughn, and Kieran Culkin and Eldin Ratliff are again part of the same cast list (The Mighty) but this time as Laney's younger brother Simon and her best friend Jesse, respectively. If you watch closely during a particular lunchroom scene, you will see Prinze's fiancé and "Buffy" TV star Sarah Michelle Gellar make a brief cameo.
"She's All That" borrows a lot of old themes but still remains fresh because of its enthusiastic cast and an above average script. If teen fluff is your fave, direct yourselves towards cookie-cutter flicks like "Down To You", "Ten Things I Hate About You", "Can't Hardly Wait" and the all-time classic "Clueless". If you want some BIG laughs, rent "American Pie" and watch for its sequel, due out August 10th. Lastly, if you really want to see Prinze show off his acting gams, rent "The House of Yes".
on May 27, 2001
Well, here I am, writing a review on a teen movie. Usually, I do not take teen romantic comedies too seriously; the characters are not mature enough to make me actually believe that their romance will end up with a wedding. The mature viewer watches this kind of flicks with one idea in mind: "Yeah, right... these two guys are just going through a chemical and purely emotional reaction, have no clue whatsoever of the kinds of commitments that a true relationship requires, and finally... their relationship will not survive the four years of college..."
So, why am I writing a review on this one? Basically, one reason: I liked the character of Laney Boggs; she was really sweet and feminine, a characteristic that is kind of latent in today's women.
There is one scene that I would watch over and over in this movie: the scene when she walks down the stairs after her amazing makeover. No only is she gorgeus (that goes without saying), but the whole scene is the epitome of femininity. Look at the grace with which she walks down the steps, look at the expression on her face when she turns towards Zach. Her eyes seem to ask: "Am I beautiful enough? Will he like me?" Look at the pure, sweet, and humble expression in those eyes... Man, where are women like this today? Where do they hide?
And what about the background song that accompanies that scene? "Kiss Me" by Sixpence None The Richer is perfect for that moment (and for the movie in general) because its carefree melody reminds you of those lighthearted times of high school.
As for the rest of the movie, it is the typical teen flick, enjoyable and a bit unrealistic... but who looks for realism in a movie anyway?
on April 30, 2001
This movie has many features of high art. Indeed it is a specimen of such. Robert Iscove, director, knows how to make a great synthesis of feelings and conceptions. The most difficult problem for an artist in wide sense of a term is to represent not only characters and events, but also ideas, make them visible. Iscove certainly knows the way. In "She is all that" at first we see a story of a boy (Freddie Prinze Jr.) and a girl (Rachael Leigh Cook), watch the development of their characters towards each other. The story is both realistic and funny, social and ironical. Then we notice the conceptual background. Iscove plays with the oppositions "real - illusory", "art - life". His opinion seems to be that from the one point of view art is the imperfect imitation of life and as such has some illusory, unreal aspects. But from the other point of view life itself can be understood as a form of art. The life of such a kind is represented by the art of performance. Life as performance is a creative life, when we like the fact that we have not answers to all our questions. If we think that everything is clear to us then we live an ideal life, not for real, without feelings (as they, as Robert Iscove seems to believe, are more real than all-explaining conceptions of our reason and understanding) and love. All these well-known and, by the way, quite plausible ideas are brilliantly implemented in the body of the movie. We see a lot of examples of "mimetic" art - such as excerpts from an idiotic film "Real world" (of course it is not real film) and so on. We are presented with many photos and drawings and we see how they interact with real people and sometimes literally pass over to them and vice versa. We also see finest connections between scenes, when, for example, a photo of a trees at the end of a scene changes with the real trees of the same species at the beginning of the next scene. This movie is overwhelmed with the interesting details and at the same time has strong and perfect composition. As for latter, so not to say too much I just want to mention, that the "ideal boy" Zach Siler (Freddie Prinze Jr.) turns into real man when he incidentally happens to be in need to make performance in theatre. This is a culmination of the movie. And this theme pass over to the final scene of the movie. It should be noted that final scenes in Robert Iscove's films - I mean also his outstanding movie "Boys and Girls" (2000) - are simply amazing. He manages to focus in them all the conceptual and plot threads of his films. For instance, in "Boys and Girls" "boy" (again Fr. Prinze Jr. ) and "girl" (Claire Forlani) in a final scene simply fly away from abstractions, which held them as "seat-belts" during all the story. Here, in "She is all that" the final scene is an ironical act of performance and real expression of love, as well as the summary of the main characters. I should only add that "She is all that" gives us not only much mental food for thinking over - which, as Immanuel Kant had proved already 200 years ago, is the the criterion of masterpiece - but also provides a great performance (indeed it would be strange if it does not). Rachael Leigh Cook and Freddie Prinze Jr. do their best, they act very realistic, creative and fresh, as well as others. And final remark - If you do not like this movie, just watch it again.
on April 22, 2001
Okay, I just want to start off saying the movie is excellent that is not the reason I rated it with 2 stars, the reason is the DVD! No features, only a music video (great video). Some people on other websites have said this DVD has only 2.0 channel surround sound, even though the case says 5.1, I didn't really noticed because I saw this DVD two years ago. The movie is a really cute, funny and definitely a date movie for sure. The picture quality is good on the DVD. By the way there are two versions of the music video out there the "She's All That" version and the "Dawson's Creek" version, the video is of "Kiss Me" by 6pence none the Richer (great band), the difference is that the She's All That video has the cast from the movie in it, the "'Creek" version has footage from the TV show. Great movie though buy it instantly. One note about the sound Disney re-released the DVD with 5.1 YEA!
Movie Grade: A+, Picture: A+, Sound: C+ (2.0 version), A+ (5.1), Extras: D
on February 27, 2001
If you're a high school student then you should definitely see this movie! SHE'S ALL THAT is about a modern-day high school and a group of modern-day high school students. Zack Siler is the most popular guy in the entire senior class. After his hot-shot girlfriend, Taylor, dumps him for a TV star, he makes a bet with his best friend, Dean. Dean bets him that he cannot find a Taylor-replacement by the time their Senior Prom rolls around and be able to turn her into the Prom Queen! Zack, not wanting to be a coward, accepts the challenge and Dean ends up setting Zack up with the biggest geek in school: Laney Boggs! But when Taylor finds out about Zack going out with Laney and gets jealous, she wants to win Zack back (Taylor claims she has to be Prom Queen). And Zack doesn't realize that he's starting to fall in love with Laney! This movie stars a group of today's hottest young actors. Among the supporting cast are Paul Walker, Usher Raymond, Kieren Culkin, Anna Paquin, Matthew Lillard, and many others. Freddie Prinze Jr. and Rachel Leigh Cook star as Zack and Laney. And since the high school is - or was, I should say - the same high school on the older episodes of "Buffy, The Vampire Slayer", Sarah Michelle Gellar makes a surprising appearance as one of the students in the "Cafeteria Scene"...(but you have to watch very closely for her, she's only on screen for a few minutes!).
SHE'S ALL THAT is a great, fun movie for all teenagers and a great high school experience. (Also, the "Dance Squence" at the Prom is amazing!) Enjoy!!!
on November 11, 2000
"She's All That" is probably the best movie for teens. But you don't even have to be a teenager to enjoy this movie. The setting of "She's All That", takes place in a town in California at a modern-day high school (the same high school used in the TV show, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"...a.k.a. Sunnydale High - well at least the older episodes took place there). It's senior year and the students just came back from spring break. Zack Siler (Freddie Prinze Jr.) is the most popular, coolest, guy in the entire senior class...maybe even the entire school. He's athletic, smart, cool, and rich. Zack comes back to school to find out that his hot-shot girlfriend, Taylor Vaughan (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe), dumped him for a TV star, Brock Hudson from "The Real World" (Matthew Lillard) while she was on vacation in Florida with some of her friends. Still stunned and shocked by Taylor dumping him, Zack's best friend, Dean Sampson (Paul Walker), makes a bet with Zack...Zack is supposed to find any average girl to take the place of Taylor, and turn her into the Senior Prom Queen by the time of their Senior Prom. Dean gets to choose the girl...and he chooses Laney Boggs (Rachel Leigh Cook), the artistic, and biggest geek in school! Zack tries to get Laney to go out with her and they end up falling in love...even though Taylor tries to win back Zack! An excellent cast for a great, fun movie with superb performances by Freddie Prinze Jr., Paul Walker, Rachel Leigh Cook, Jodi Lyn O'Keefe, Matthew Lillard, Anna Paquin, Elden Ratliff, Usher Raymond, Kimberly "Lil' Kim" Jones, Gabrielle Union, Dule Hill, Kevin Pollak, and Kieran Culkin and a special appearence from Sarah Michelle Gellar ["Buffy the Vampire Slayer"] herself. I loved the dance sequence at the Senior Prom. The choreography for the routine was amazing...and the music was awesome, hip, and cool. This a very memorable movie and this really is what high school is all about. Prinze Jr., as Zack, portrays a perfect example of what jocks and popular guys are like in high school. And Cook, as Laney, protrays a perfect example of what all the rest of us high school students are like! One of the actors protrays an outstanding performance that really stands out. He is Kieran Culkin (actor Macualy Culkin's younger brother), who plays Simon Boggs, Laney's younger brother. One thing I think is really funny about this movie (not funny as in "ha, ha" funny but funny as in "strange" funny) is that both Kieran Culkin and Elden Ratliff (Jesse Jackson -- Laney's best friend) both star in the movie, "The Mighty" with Sharon Stone and Gillian Anderson. (That is another good movie I recommend, by the way.) And if you wanna get another view point of high school, then rent or buy "10 Things About You" -- starring yet, another fantastic group of young popular actors including Julia Stiles and Joseph Gorden-Levitt [Tommy, from the TV show, "3rd Rock from the Sun"]. "She's All That" is a great movie you can see again and again without getting tired of it! Go and buy it now!
on September 1, 2000
"She's All That" is an engaging teenage version of "My Fair Lady", that succeeds because of strong acting and chemistry between the two leads, Freddie Prinze Jr. and Rachel Lee Cook. At least one reviewer from Michigan seemed to have some sort of feminist agenda in her negative remarks about this picture. My advice is that you watch without your agenda filter on. If you do that, you'll find this to be one of the better teenage romantic comedies to come around in a while. In my opinion, it's better than "Ten Things I Hate About You", a teenage Taming of the Shrew which I also liked.
Having said that "She's All That" is a good motion picture and worthy of your time, I must warn you that you'd be better off seeing it on VHS than DVD. Occasionally movies suffer in sound quality when undergoing the transition to DVD. Unfortunately, this is one of the worst examples I've ever heard. Stick with the VHS version and you'll be happer for it.
on August 20, 2000
Strangers kept telling me I looked like the girl in this movie so I went and saw it. It was disgusting.
At first I was interested - I thought the character of Laney was very cool, and she delivered a few lines that reminded me of things I would say or have said. The movie, though, seemed to be trying to glorify what the other characters did to her. They cut her hair, put her in tiny clothes, told her not to take issues that were important to her seriously, poured beer down her dress and made her cry. A cool character was broken down by the others to the point that she eventually kissed the character responsible, even though he's an ape-man and looks like the missing link. (that was a casting issue, though, as much as a story problem) The movie makers tried to present this as a good thing! What struck me as particularly sad was that even her art teacher wasn't on her side. At the point where the two main characters kissed, I felt nauseous and had to leave the movie theater. I held down the vomit because it would be bad to puke in my car.
I think the actress who played Laney is very pretty, and I wish I really looked like her, but since I don't, I'm suspicious of why all those strangers kept saying I looked like her. Did they want that kind of thing to happen to me too?? Yikes!
on June 1, 2000
Ok, this movie is not great. It's also not original in the slightest- featuring teen stereotypes galore and a plot that was hijacked from other teen movies and Pygmalion. Yet it succeeds at what it set out to be- a sweet, teen romance. The success of this film is entirely rooted in the performances of its two leads, Freddy Prinz, Jr. and Rachel Leigh Cook. I wouldn't say that these two actors bring great range or depth to the table; but they do bring loads of charisma and the ability to make their characters likeable. And in a teen romance, charisma and likeability are good enough to make a film work. The performances of Ms. Cook and Mr. Prinz gave this movie heart which enabled them to overcome the predictable script. Of course, one must still approach this movie with a healthy dose of suspended disbelief in order to believe that Ms. Cook could ever be considered unattractive. Despite her glasses, baggy clothes, and rather obvious wig, there is no disguising the fact that Ms. Cook is extremely pretty. (But what should one expect from Hollywood? The town that sold us the idea that street prosititutes could look like Julia Roberts!) Anyway I do not think "She's All That" is a great movie; but I did enjoy it for what it was- a sweet, romantic teen comedy. It's probably not a four star film, but I liked it, so I tacked on an extra star. A special mention should go to Matthew Lillard, who provides the movie its best comic moments, with his hilarious send-up of the ultra-obnoxious Puck from "The Real World."