Once upon a time (1999), a young girl went to the movie theatre to see a film called She’s All That. Over the course of 97 minutes she fell in love with a prince (well, a Prinze) and that love still lasts to this day.
A popular teenage boy, recently dumped by his girlfriend, makes a bet that he can turn an unpopular girl into the prom queen.
WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH
The soundtrack is killer. From the opening credits (“Prophecy” by Remy Zero) to the end (“Kiss Me” by Six Pence None the Richer), the music perfectly encapsulates 1999.
The sibling relationship between Laney and Simon is pretty realistic. Not only would I have threatened to spit in my brother’s juice, but I probably would have done it. Of course that means I would’ve had to make him breakfast in the first place.
Usher is the high school DJ. The high school attended by the characters has a DJ. Can this please become a thing done in high schools across the nation?
All of the small parts and cameos with highly recognizable faces. Whoever the casting director was, bravo. Kevin Pollack, Lil Kim, Anna Paquin, Elden Henson, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Gabrielle Union, Dule Hill, Tim Matheson, and Milo Ventimiglia. So a usual suspect, badass chick rapper, future X-Man, former Mighty Duck, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Clover cheerleading captain, fake psychic detective’s bff, the voice of Johnny Quest, and the boy who broke Rory Gilmore’s heart. Pretty damn impressive.
Fashion of the late 1990’s is in full swing. For evidence please see the photo above and those below:
Brock Hudson is one of the best characters ever created. Not only was he the dyslexic volleyball guy who was kicked out of the house on The Real World: L.A. second season, but he has a tattoo of his own face on his arm with the word “me” inked below it. You know, just in case he forgot. His dance moves are super sweet, especially when done while wearing a silver hologram button-down. Plus his farts smell like roses.
Whoever wrote the dialogue (possibly M. Night Shymalan) doesn’t have a clue how real teenagers speak, thus we are treated to the following gems: Usher referring to his fellow students as earthquakes, “bad-ass mamba-jahamba” as a compliment, and “bump monkeys” as a euphemism for sex.
Preston is the coolest guy in the movie. He does not give two fucks about anything. His friends are making bets about turning girls into prom queens and he just laughs at them.
Laney works at a felafel hut and this is the uniform:
Mitch is a brilliant performance artist. You can tell because his piece contains the following dialogue: “My soul is an island. My car is a Ford.” Be silent, be still.
An entire two minute scene is devoted to hacky sack as a metaphor for the pressures of life as a high schooler. Slightly over two percent of the movie. That’s FANTASTIC.
Laney sees through bullshit, which is quite refreshing for a teen movie. Zack gives her the old “Your eyes are really beautiful” and she totally calls him out. Rather than being completely enamored that the most popular guy in school wants to talk to her, she questions his motives and makes him earn her trust. Teenage girls could learn a thing or two from Laney.
Shirtless Paul Walker, Freddie Prinze Jr., and Dule Hill at the beach. So much hotness. SO. MANY. ABS. Sidenote: is group volleyball a real thing? Like, do teens go to the beach to play a game of volleyball together?
Laney’s father is horrible at Jeopardy!, getting every answer wrong. Even the obvious ones. It’s such a dad thing.
Everyone loves a good makeover story, particularly when the makeover doesn’t completely change the girl inside. Yes, Laney gets a hair cut and starts wearing contacts. Big deal. She still wears her quirky clothes to school and makes her unpopular sad art because it’s what she enjoys doing.
Laney doesn’t let bitches get her down. When Misty makes fun of her for being poor she exacts revenge. It’s a lame kind of revenge, but revenge none the less.
I’ll never hear “Give It to Me Baby” without thinking of Brock dancing. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Guys just rap and beatbox in the quad. My high school didn’t even have a quad, let alone kinda skilled rappers. It mostly just had white boys who wore tight polo shirts.
Zack is so popular he gets away with taking his little sister to prom and nobody says boo about it. That’s some serious upper-level awesomeness.
This is a hairstyle that nobody makes fun of (except for me at home):
The prom dance sequence. The prom DJ has taught the ENTIRE senior class the same dance. That they all choose to do in unison during the prom. It can only be described as amazing.
Laney and Zack get the best first kiss ever. The backyard looks a garden wedding from most women’s dreams and Zack is in a tux. Yum.
Zack follows through on his end of the lost bet. And we are ALL blessed.
WHERE HAVE I SEEN YOU BEFORE?
- Ray Bronson in I Know What You Did Last Summer
- Christopher Blair in Wing Commander
- Becky Thatcher in Tom and Huck
- Mary Anne Spier in The Baby-Sitters Club
- Chip in Serial Mom
- Cereal Killer in Hackers
- Skip Martin in Pleasantville
- Lance Harbor in Varsity Blues
- Sarah in Halloween: H20
- Ashley Grant in Whatever It Takes