She's All That
Starring Rachel Leigh Cook, Freddie Prinze Jr.
Now I know what a lot of
you may be saying. "Gee, Wil, I've looked through your web site
so far and you seem like a pretty hip guy. You're funny, cutting
edge, and employ a brash devil-may-care attitude that sets you apart
from the rest of 'establishment' society. So why would you even
bother to review such generic, commercial tripe as She's All
Two reasons, actually. One
being, I've always subscribed to Sam Kinneson's axiom, "If
you're going to miss heaven, miss It!" (i.e. live as sinful and
depraved a life as you can.) Translated to the film world this mean
"If you're going to see a stupid film, see a STOOPID film." And
I assure you She's All That ain't no Life Is Beautiful (which
I have no intention of seeing.)
My second reason is that I
was a big fan of the eighties brat pack films (16 Candles, The Sure
Thing, St, Elmo's Fire and the inimitable Breakfast Club) and wanted
to check up on the current generation to make sure that they we're
being treated to the same teenage-Midwestern fop that I was.
It turns out, yes they are.
In fact, She's All That, is almost a direct remake of the Molly
Ringwald classic Pretty In Pink. Both follow this same
basic plot: Rich, popular but slightly confused guy falls for oddball
and unpopular (but foxy) girl. Wacky girl's years of abuse by popular
people has made trusting difficult. The remainder of the film is
spent waiting for the two to get with it already and hit the sheets.
If you're still unclear, perhaps
this table will help:
foxy chick who is unpopular and into "art" and other geeky crap.
Unsinkable Molly Ringwald
popular male hottie who's secretly so sensitive he should be
playing guitar for Sebadoh
of rich popular guy who's years of financial excess have made
him insensitive to the needs of others.
know his name but he looks like a buff version of the blonde
guy from Saved By The Bell
working class father of nerd-girl, who is still pining for his
wife who ran away/died
bitch who disses everyone, but secretly is in a lot of pain.
Most likely to end up starring in porno
forget her name.
forget her name as well
narrator who organized synchronized dance number at prom
There are a
few differences though. For one thing, the chick that plays nerd-girl
looks young, I mean like ten years old or something. When at one
point early in film she searches for a one word description to sum
up her relationship with stud-boy, the first thing that popped in
my mind was "pedophilia." (It turned out she was thinking of "surreal")
The movie did
win me over with it's pure campiness. For one thing, it was filled
with uppermiddle-class white kids using popular black street vernacular
like "wack" or "phat" or "She's all that" Unfortunately, they used
none of my favorite terms, like "Trick ass Bee-yatch" or "Let's
kill that white motherfuckah!" There's also a great moment when
Freddie Prinze goes to a performance art show and is forced to do
an off the cuff piece of performance art himself (with a hacky-sack.)
The rousing approval he gets from the bohemian crowd shows them
for the empty headed dolts they are. (It doesn't hurt that the venue
seems to have garnered the entire budget of the N.E.A. for
trippy visual effects.) The ironic appearance of former a Real
World star playing an obnoxious, insensitive version of himself
(some might say it's not really acting) also adds some pizzazz.
the film slips into decline during it's second half and starts to
become serious, struggling to make a point about how love brings
us together and we must trust each other, blah, blah… Campiness
is replaced by a screenwriting from Teletubbies school and I found
myself slipping to yawnsville. The insertion of a chainsaw wielding
maniac at this point would have been just what was needed for a
shot of jaeger to the films psyche. On final assessment, I would
say there's nothing here that won't translate well to video.