He’s not all that

Hes all that was not all that.

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He’s all that was not all that.

Adeline Gruen, Staff Writer

The movie making business has been using the overall same tropes since it started. However, recently they have begun to remake old movies just by tweaking the smallest of details. This can be seen in the new live action film versions of older Disney movies and with films such as “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” being changed to have female leads, giving them a new style. The newest film in this gender swap style is “He’s All That.”

In 1999, “She’s All That,” a movie based off of George Bernard Shaw’s book “Pygmalion,” hit the movie theaters. It follows high schooler Zach Siler (Freddie Prinze Jr.) on his quest to regain popularity after his breakup by making nerdy outcast Laney Boggs (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe) into the prom queen. Now in 2021, the movie has come back into light via Netflix’s “He’s All That.” This version shows how a social media star named Padgett Sawyer (Addison Rae) tries to reclaim her title of ‘Makeover Queen’ by turning her unpopular classmate into the next prom king. Both movies follow the same plot surrounding a bet and the iconic makeover scene. 

The plot and character development in Netflix’s adaptation was very well done, but the acting could have used more talent. As some of them were TikTok stars, it seemed that they were a bit out of their element. For example they must act for a longer time and do more subtle movements compared to the over dramatic acting that is on the social media app. The movie also employed celebrities such as Kourtney Kardashian whose character didn’t add anything to the plot and who delivered all her lines without any emotion. 

The same happenings of just changing the genders of the lead characters and not adding to the plot can be seen in “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” and its adaptation, “The Hustle.” Both movies starred well known actors, such as Michael Cane and Steve Martin in “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” and Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson in “The Hustle.”  The primary difference between the two films was the main character’s gender.  Both of the films take place on the same island and follow the same plot even including identical lines that the actors say.

With “He’s All That” and “The Hustle” we see movies that don’t add anything and are just parodies of their original source material. If their producers would have created more unique storylines and added nods to the originals much like when someone bases a movie after a timeless piece of literature, it would have been more tolerable.

Neither adaptation was necessarily bad; however, as they are simply remakes, it leaves the audience wondering if they could have been made into something unique. While it is common to see similar themes and tropes reused through films, the reuse of plots needs to be put to an end.

Contact Adeline Gruen at [email protected]