He’s All That Parent Guide
Despite its unfortunate profanity, this teen rom-com is better than most with solid messages about authenticity and courage.
Parent Movie Review
Padgett Sawyer (Addison Rae) is a remarkably successful teenager. A social media influencer with a channel devoted to makeovers, she is building up her college fund with corporate sponsorships. But her glamorous life comes crashing down when her boyfriend (Peyton Meyer) is caught cheating on her own live feed and her emotional reaction goes viral. Sponsors flee, and Padgett must find a way to rebuild her brand.
A solution comes from her friend, Alden (Madison Pettis), who suggests that Padgett can regain her status as a makeover expert by transforming a “loser” into the school Prom King. Excited by the challenge and desperate to save her social media channel, Padgett agrees. Alden picks loner Cameron Kweller (Tanner Buchanan) as Padgett’s new project. It’s not going to be easy. Cameron considers the “cool kids” at school to be ridiculous…and Padgett soon starts to see why.
He’s All That is never going to be considered groundbreaking cinema. For starters, it isn’t even original. It’s a gender-flipped remake of She’s All That and follows in the long tradition of makeover movies like My Fair Lady. The moral of the story isn’t subtle: don’t judge a book by its cover. Padgett learns this lesson, discovering that Cameron is a thoughtful young man with his own backstory and considerable talents. Cameron also learns a few things along the way and sees the real person behind Padgett’s glitzy public persona.
The movie also offers another (unexpected) message about appearances. Addison Rae, to my relief, is not a 90 pound twig modeling size double zero clothes. She has an average sized body and real hips. Casting Ms. Rae in the starring role provides a badly needed corrective to the pervasive toxic messages teenage girls receive about body size and shape.
The production’s positive themes – including messages about authenticity and honesty – are offset by surprisingly moderate negative content. Most teen rom-coms contain a fair bit of sexual content and alcohol use. Not this one. There is no explicit sex in the movie: just some kissing and suggestive dancing. There is a minor lesbian subplot but it contains no public displays of affection. The biggest surprise in the film is the complete lack of alcohol, with teens drinking mocktails at parties. The only real problem here is profanity, with almost four dozen swear words, including a single sexual expletive, which gives the movie its TV-MA rating. Without the profanity, this show would slide into PG territory.
He’s All That provides decent entertainment for its target audience of twelve to sixteen year olds. The acting is a bit wobbly, but the movie will hopefully encourage viewers to reflect on their social media use and avoid making snap judgments about their peers. As Cameron tells Padgett, “High school’s just a bunch of scared people pretending to be something they’re not.” With any luck, this film will have viewers assessing their fears and deciding to be more authentic. That could make the 88 minute runtime a worthwhile investment.Directed by Mark Waters. Starring Addison Rae, Tanner Buchanan, Madison Pettis, Rachael Leigh Cook. Theatrical release August 27, 2021. Updated August 28, 2021
Watch the trailer for He’s All That
He’s All That
Rating & Content Info
Why is He’s All That rated TV-MA? He’s All That is rated TV-MA by the MPAA for language
Violence: A young woman throws pastry at a young man. A teen mentions having his car keyed and having a fetal pig put in his backpack. There’s mention of a person dying in a plane crash. Two buys have a fistfight that involves punching and kicking. A young woman punches a guy in the face.
Sexual Content: Shirtless guys are in several scenes. A shirtless man and a scantily clad woman are seen together; prior sexual activity is implied. There is some sexual double entendre. Teenagers are see in scanty swimwear including bikinis. A man and woman twerk together. A young man and woman kiss each other. A young man tries to sexually assault a younger teenage girl; the episode happens off screen and is not discussed in explicit detail. There are a few sexually provocative dance moves.
Profanity: There are just under four dozen profanities in the movie, including a single sexual expletive and a word that substitutes for it. There are 19 terms of deity, five scatological curses, over a dozen crude anatomical terms, and a smattering of minor swear words.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None noted.
Page last updated August 28, 2021
He’s All That Parents' Guide
What changes Padgett’s attitude towards Cameron? Why does she become interested in him as a person instead of a project?
Do you think Cameron is correct when he says that, “High school’s just a bunch of scared people pretending to be something they’re not.” Why do you think people are scared to be who they really are?
Related home video titles:
This is a gender-flipped remake of She’s All That, the story of a jilted “cool guy” who decides to rebuild his social capital by turning a “loser” into the prom queen. .
In My Fair Lady, Professor Henry Higgins makes a bet that he can turn a humble flower seller into an elegant woman who can successfully pass as a lady among high society in London.