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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?
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on February 29, 2000
"She's All That?" Uh, no she's not.
In the first half of the film--if you can make it that far without tuning out or walking out--the audience gets the feeling that this Kevin Williamson, souped-up, dumbed-down "Pygmalion" rip-off was created solely for the purpose of putting Freddie Prinze Jr. (of "I Still Know What You Did Last Summer") in a movie and making a few bucks off his newfound Tiger-Beat fame. The characters are pale stereotypes of the latter half of Generation X, more thoroughly augmented by their thin, and often inane dialogue:
"I feel just like Julia Roberts in 'Pretty Woman.' Except for that whole hooker thing."
Such an unoriginal take on an old idea is this film, that it often needs to refer to previously successful attempts at this concept (the aforementioned "Pretty Woman", etc.) in a possible attempt at its own success. However, in this case, such an effort falls flat. Bottom Line: the plot is ancient, the characters, cartoonish, the dialogue, without flavor. A waste of both time and money.
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on October 13, 1999
If you're a teen like me and like these new teen movies that are coming out, then I absolutely recommend that you see this movie. The two leads in this movie played by Freddie Prinze Jr.(Zach) and Rachel Leigh Cook (Laney) are a great duo. They perform well together and are a great team. Also, Zach's bestfriend played by Paul Walker helps to make this movie what it really is.
When school starts Zach (Prinze) who is the popular, jock gets dumped by his popular girlfriend Taylor (Jodi Lyn O' Keefe) after spring break. So he's left dateless for the very important prom. With a little provoking from his not so sensitive bestfriend (Walker) he bets that he can make any girl into a prom queen only eight weeks before the big event. The victim of their bet: Laney (Cook), a nerdy art student too busy with art to help her dad and brother, and also to make a social life. However, a couple of looks from Zach and a couple of dates, Laney's heart begins to melt, and her appearance at school soars. Then before you know it Zach's falling for her and she's falling for him. Only problem, Zach's bestfriend tries to ruin it for Zach by asking Laney to the prom. Then Laney finds out about their bet and wants nothing to do with Zach. But sooner or later with a little swooning from Zach her heart belongs to him again and Taylor is left out in the cold. So as you can see this is a great movie that is wonderful, and really keeps your attention while the movie is playing. It's kind of like a newer version of Cinderella only instead of a fairy godmother she's got a hunky guy, and ALL THAT. Well, this movie is guaranteed to charm the socks off of you. So if you are looking for a romantic comedy this movie is for you.
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on June 25, 1999
The movie is good, but isn't as realistic, which in a sense is o.k for me personally but overall I'm sure there are many people who would like to see situations that are more likely to occur, rather than to fantasize that some girl who was supposedly a nerd, became popular simply by having a popular guy around her. Then the fact that a guy would make a bet like that... I've personally never met anyone that would do that sort of thing. As far as the ladies are concerned, I think they're all pretty, but I'm sure nobody agrees with me about Anna Paquin, but I just love every movie that she's ever made, and although she has only a small role in this particular film, I think the role she plays has alot to do with her character in real life. Personally, I'd love it more than anything, if I someday had the chance just to say hi, get an autograph, and see her in person. She's got such a good outlook on life. But putting my feelings aside, I say that although I would personally give the movie a 6, it gets a 4.
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on November 7, 1999
This charming update of Pygmalion (by way of the John Hughesoeuvre, most notably Pretty in Pink) rode the crest of the late-'90swave of immensely popular teen films (Varsity Blues, etc.), thanks primarily to the immense charisma of its two leads, Freddie Prinze Jr. and Rachael Leigh Cook. When school star Zach (Prinze)--who's a jock, smart, and popular--gets dumped by vacuous Taylor (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe) after spring break, he's left dateless for the all-important prom. With a little goading from his less-than-sensitive best friend (hunky Paul Walker), he bets that he can make any girl into prom queen a mere eight weeks before the dance. The object of their wager: misfit Laney (Cook), a gawky art student too busy with her paintings and taking care of her brother and dad to worry about school politics. However, after a couple looks from Zach, and a few dates that reveal him to be a hunk of substance, Laney's armor begins to melt--and her stock at school soars. Soon enough, she's the lone candidate for prom queen against the bitchy and relentless Taylor. What elevates She's All That above the realm of standard teen fare is its mixture of good-natured fairy-tale romance and surprisingly clear-eyed view of high school social strata. The lines of class are demarcated as clearly as if in a Jane Austen novel, but the satire is equally deflating and affectionate. Sure, high school could be bad sometimes, but it was lots of fun too; this is a movie good-natured enough to take time out for an extended hip-hop dance number at the prom. Director Robert Iscove (who also helmed the Brandy-starring TV adaptation of Cinderella) has also assembled a great young cast, including a scene-stealing Anna Paquin as Zach's no-nonsense sister, Kieran Culkin as Laney's geeky brother, and a stupidly goofy Matthew Lillard as a Real World cast member whose arrival shakes things up a little too much. And amidst all the comedy and prom drama, you'd be hard-pressed to find two teen stars as talented, attractive, and appealing as Prinze and Cook. Prinze is an approachable and sensitive jock, though it's Cook who's the true star, investing Laney with confidence, humor, and heart. Like Zach, you'll be hard-pressed not to fall in love with her. By the story's end, both Cook and the film will have charmed the socks off of you.
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on September 30, 2003
Here is another movie in which a guy makes a bet about girl, falls in love with girl, then girl finds out, etc. There have to have been at least 40 other movies and tv shows with this plot. Honestly, I would advise you to avoid all movies that have Freddie Prinze Jr. as their star. Every one that I have seen is rubbish.
In this movie, popular guy/jock Zack(Freddie Prinze Jr.) gets dumped by his self-absorbed witch of a girlfriend Taylor(how can you like a character who would go out with her?) for a rude self-absorbed tv star named Brock. While reeling from this shocking breakup, he makes a bet with a jerk friend of his(Okay, how did they become friends?) named Dean. The bet is that he can take any girl and make her a prom queen within the eight weeks before the prom. His "friend" picks out Laney, a misfit artist with horn-rimmed glasses and an extremely unbecoming haircut, played by Rachel Leigh Cook. A relative of mine glanced at the cover that features a photo of her and, after hearing a brief plot summary, said, "Oh, yeah right, like she could be a geek."
However, Cook manages it so well at the beginning that I found it difficult not to consider her a freak. Especially after the 'preforming arts' cafe scene. Anyway, Laney ends up flowering into a beautiful girl who gets nominated as prom queen (big surprise, huh?). The other nominee? Zack's old girlfriend Taylor.
Poor Zack begins to fall in love with Laney, but, unfortunately for him, his 'buddy' Dean decides that the new Laney is totally hot and tells her all about the bet. He omits the fact that it was his idea and that he selected her as the victim. Must have slipped his mind. Laney is shocked and hurt. Gee, what will happen? Will Zack be able to win her back? Ooh, that's a tough one. Oh, there is also a milisecond appearance by Sarah Michelle Gellar. This really does nothing to improve the movie. I suggest that you save your money.
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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.
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on July 29, 1999
I am a high school sophmore and I would just like to say that Iloved this movie! There have been a lot of disparging reviews aboutthis movie at imdb and amazon, but I disagree with all of them.
This movie makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. The ending is perfect. And there are tons of hilarious moments distributed throughout:
Dean: Is that a no? Laney: That's a hell no!
This movie was so much better than any of the other teen movies that are out now (i.e American Pie and Election). It was so hilarious! How can you help not falling in love with both Zac and Laney? They are both so loveable! And you love to hate Dean and Taylor, the "bad guys". Everything works out perfectly in the end, though.
The only bad thing iss that this movie represents an unrealisitc view of high school life. All of the characters are rich (Preston's dad owns a chain of car dealerships and has a house the size of a large hotel). Laney is supposed to be "poor" because her father owns a pool cleaning business, but even she has a large house with a pool in her backyard. All of the kids drive jeeps or convertibles and this is what reminds most viewers of "Clueless" when they watch this movie. However, I would definitely give this movie a 10 out of 10. There was one part of the movie that was bizarre though: Laney did not look so bad in the beginning of the movie. Obviously,when they worked on her a bit, she would look fantastic. But, are we supposed to believe that Zac's little sister Mac gave Laney her big makeover? I mean, half of the girl's hair was cut off and shaped into a new 'do. Could a 16 year old really accomplish all of that? If Mac was so I did like Mac's role though. Simon(Laney's brother) was one of the few loveable siblings that you see in the movies, and of course, I LOVED Matthew Lillard as Brock. And the cameos by Li'l Kim and Sarah Michelle Gellar from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" were great (you have to look hard to find her- she doesn't even speak).
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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.
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on November 4, 2001
She's All That
The plot was rather predictable and the high school stereotypes were all there so what makes this movie different from other high school movies?
Well for one the charming acting : Petite Rachel Leigh Cook plays Laney , a social misfit transformed into a stunning beauty and belle of the ball (in fact Rachel Leigh Cooke is a stunning beauty and it is in the first part of the movie where she is made up and dressed to look unatrattractive) , Freddie Prinze Jr. gives an intelligent portrayal as Zach , the school darling who as part of a bet does the Pygmalion thing with Laney , Jodi Lyn O'Keefe plays the [bad person] Taylor who Laney challenges (almost) successfully for the Prom crown
And Paul Walker plays the macho but scheming school villain
There are also great Cameo performances by the always talented Anna Paquin (Zach's sister) , Kieran Culkin who is a barrel of laughs as Laney's younger brother and Matthew Lillard as a camp lord of the dance who dates Taylor

The music is great
This is no masterpiece but makes for some good entertainment with which to switch your mind off for a couple of hours
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