For those of you who don’t spend their time re-watching ridiculous movies on Netflix, I’ll refresh your memory: “She’s All That” is about a Zach (Freddie Prinze Jr.), a popular high school guy who is dumped by his equally popular girlfriend, Taylor (Jodi Lynn O’Keefe) when she meets Brock the Man Child/MTV reality star (Matthew Lillard) during Spring Break in Florida.
Zach then boasts to his best friend, the villainous Dean (Paul Walker–R.I.P.), that he could turn any girl into prom queen. Dean decides to take him up on that bet and picks weirdo art girl, Laney (Rachel Leigh Cook), as the challenge.
This movie is based on “Pygmalion” and “My Fair Lady” with a dash of “Pretty in Pink” and “every other movie ever” thrown in for good measure. In addition to creating the oft-copied makeover reveal on the staircase, it follows a lot of romantic comedy tropes like the clumsy hot girl, the token black friend, and the “ugly” girl who takes her glasses off and suddenly becomes hot.
While watching this, I realized there are a few ridiculous things that I really didn’t pay enough attention to the first time I saw it:
1. Goth chicks tell Laney to kill herself.
In the beginning of the movie, Laney does an art piece about a riot she read about in Mogadishu, also known as the capital of Somalia. If you don’t know where Somalia is–“I am the captain now.”
But I digress. Laney does her art piece on the riot and two goth chicks approach Laney and tell her that they were discussing artists whose work wasn’t appreciated until they died and Laney’s name came up. So, they helpfully suggest Laney kill herself.
2. The anal sex joke.
At a house party, Zach is talking to his ex-girlfriend Taylor and making fun of her boyfriend, a former “star” of MTV’s “The Real World” who ate his toenails for $10. Taylor’s response?
Taylor: Jump up my ass, Zach.
Zach: Been there. Done that.
3. The beatbox.
After Laney’s makeover (i.e. haircut and switch from glasses to contacts), she’s nominated for prom queen and quickly becomes the main competition for Taylor’s quest for the crown.
A couple guys hanging out between classes decide to do an impromptu beatbox laying out the prom queen competition:
Was this common at other high schools? I went to an all-girls Catholic school and this didn’t happen, at least not that I’m aware of. My only frame of reference is “Teen Witch” which leads me to believe that this happened at every other school (if I’m wrong, please don’t correct me).
If that’s wrong, I don’t want to be right.
4. Synchronized dancing.
At the prom, the whole student body starts a synchronized dance that they’ve clearly been rehearsing for weeks despite trying to make it seem impromptu like something out of “High School Musical.”
Seriously, what were other schools like?! Is this normal?! Or is it only because Usher was the student DJ?
5. The terms of the bet.
At the end of the movie, Zach reveals to Laney the terms of the bet, which turn out to be that he has to go to graduation naked, except for a soccer ball which he tosses to Laney while he’s on stage receiving his diploma (if you’re complaining about spoilers, the movie is 16 year old–shut up).
How did the entire administration let a student show up for graduation completely nude? Graduation ceremonies take forever–he’s obviously been sitting like that for a while with no robe in sight, meaning he didn’t even bother to wear it when they students filed in to take their seats. I’m pretty sure the faculty wouldn’t have just said, “Oh, he’s such a scamp!” and let it go. For God’s sake, a lot of people’s grandmothers attend graduation–have some decency to not flash senior citizens, Zach!
It was confirmed in April of this year that a remake of this movie is underway so we all have something to look forward to.