Eye For Film >> Movies >> She's All That (1999) Film Review
She's All That
Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray
Life at a wickedly privileged LA high school was parodied in Clueless - rich kids exposing the vacuity of their minds. She's All That carries on about the prom king and queen as if it was a Presidential election. Similar territory. As a side bar, or rather main event, you have the ugly duckling story.
Will the pool cleaner's daughter, Laney (Rachel Leigh Cook), beat the supermodel manque, Taylor (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe), for the crown? It starts worse. The undisputed prom king, Zack (Freddie Prinze, Jr), has been dumped by girlfriend, Taylor, for a TV sitcom clown (Matthew Lillard). To avoid the humiliation of being ragged to ribbons by his so-called buddies, he has a bet that he can make any girl prom queen in six weeks. They look around and see a gawky little thing in paint splattered overalls and says, "OK, she's the one."
She is Laney, very much her own self - sharp, bright and focused on radical art. Zack is a soggy pudding by comparison. His arrogance wilts beside the heat of her argument. Being used to playing the star role in high school romances, he doesn't understand: "Shut up and listen." Cook is the new Winona. She has that intelligent vulnerability. Even when Laney is given a makeover to look like something at a Vanity Fair cocktail party, her personality pokes out. O'Keefe flaunts the bitch-in-flames, with obvious enjoyment, and Prinze tags along, unable to give Zack a personality to match his reputation.
The film is mindless and superficial and snobbish and slight. If all high schools were like this, kids would need a certificate in glossy magazine trivia to join. Inches from a kiss, the once independent Laney says, "I feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. Except for that whole hooker thing." Where else could she be but Hollywood?Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001