Let’s Be Real. “He’s All That” Isn’t All That

A TikTok star, KFC product placements, and a cringe-worthy plot: the downfall of “He’s All That”


The story begins like this: a pretty, popular girl falls in love with a loner, who magically transforms into Prince Charming the moment he puts on a suit. Sound familiar? Like your standard teen romance movie, this is the plot of He’s All That, a remake of the 1999 movie She’s All That starring Rachel Cook. The two main differences between He’s All That and the OG are that 1) He’s All That stars TikTok star Addison Rae, and 2) it is astronomically cringe-worthy — and not the good kind of cringe you get while watching Disney rom-coms with big sappy smile. It’s the gut-wrenching type of cringe that makes you contemplate your life decisions.

If you haven’t watched the movie, let me issue a warning: you don’t want to. Let’s be honest. He’s All That lacked flavor, depth, and a certain ‘je ne sais quoi.’

He’s All That revolves around Padgett Sawyer (Addison Rae) and Cameron Kweller (Tanner Buchman), two teenagers at an affluent high school. Padgett, despite having a peculiar name, is a regular teenager — except for her massive social media following. After a series of rather unfortunate events, one very large, meme-worthy snot bubble, and an awkward conversation with Kourtney Kardashian (yes, she is in the movie), Padgett finds her social media following rapidly deteriorating. To compensate, Padgett makes a bet to transform the least popular guy in school into a heartthrob. The rest is rather self-explanatory given its clichéd nature.

If you haven’t watched the movie, let me issue a warning: you don’t want to. Let’s be honest. He’s All That lacked flavor, depth, and a certain “je ne sais quoi.” The acting was elementary with characters monotonously reciting lines. The plot was uninteresting and dull, making it impossible for anyone over the age of eleven to endure. That being said, the movie certainly had potential; by swapping the genders of the original’s two main characters, the film could have been reimagined in a memorable way. Unfortunately, it fell short of the mark. Like, seriously short. The disappointing plot, writing, and line delivery culminated in an ultimate flop of a movie.

Let’s address the low-hanging fruit: Addison’s facial expressions were one-dimensional, and she often portrayed sadness by simply speaking quietly. A majority of the shots were of Rae recreating the “big smile” emoji.  Of course, this was Rae’s first attempt at acting. It’s unrealistic to presume that her debut would be Oscar winning. However, with her social media background and the fact that her role could have gone to a more deserving actor, it’s difficult to not be critical of this TikTok star’s acting skills. Disguised as a passion project, He’s All That appears to simply be something on Addison’s “claim to fame” checklist.

Also, the movie made it seem like it was entirely paid for by the innumerable shameless advertisements placed in every scene. It seemed as if the entire Costco snack aisle was on the credit list. The Pizza Hut product placements were cheesy at best (ha) and a representation of consumerism at worst. From KFC to ADT security, the overwhelming product placements were visually distracting and took up nearly three pages of the credits, which was longer than my patience for the movie. By heavily relying on product placements, perhaps the producers themselves were unintentionally hinting that they weren’t confident in Rae’s acting abilities to carry He’s All That to box-office success.

From a plethora of product placements to an overused magical makeover trope coupled with mediocre acting and writing, He’s All That was doomed from the start. If you insist on watching it, I advise you to bring low standards and a great amount of perseverance. He’s All That wasn’t necessarily meant to be groundbreaking or inspirational, but at the end of the day — it really wasn’t all that.