10 Sneaky ‘She’s All That’ References In Netflix’s ‘He’s All That’
He’s All That has finally arrived on Netflix and while the movie isn’t great, at least the memes are.
With a Rotten Tomatoes score of 33%, the movie has been slammed for its embarrassing dialogue and forced woke sensibilities. Most of the criticism is being levelled at the movie’s lead, Addison Rae: a TikTok star making her acting debut in the Netflix film.
Thankfully, He’s All That is not all (that) bad. Cobra Kai star Tanner Buchanan’s refreshing take on alt-nerd Cameron is its saving grace, as are the scene-stealing supporting cast and the delightful cameos scattered throughout.
But whether you liked or loathed the film, it’s impossible to watch He’s All That and not immediately compare it to its 1999 muse, She’s All That.
— FanSided Entertainment (@FanSided_ENT) August 27, 2021
The two movies obviously share the same basic storyline: a popular student suffers a public breakup, then tries to restore their reputation by agreeing to their frenemies bet to turn the school’s biggest geek into hot property — but end up falling in love in the process. The only difference is that He’s All That gender-flipped the largely misogynistic She’s All That, so that this time it was a girl who was giving the guy a makeover.
Aside from the teen movie template that both films follow, there are plenty of other She’s All That easter eggs sprinkled all over the Netflix reboot — and here are some of the sneakiest.
10 sneaky She’s All That references in Netflix’s He’s All That:
1. Rachael Leigh Cook is back as Padgett’s mum.
OK, this one isn’t particularly sneaky. Rachael Leigh Cook obviously starred as Laney in She’s All That and has returned as Padgett’s mum in He’s All That. However, it should be noted that she’s not the same character — instead going by the name Anna Sawyer. Lame!
2. Both protagonists have mothers who died and they channel their grief into art.
Laney and Cameron play each movie’s makeover project and they have an almost identical backstory. Both of them became reclusive after their mothers died and they channelled their grief into art — for Laney it was painting, while Cameron lent his hand to photography. In either cases, tbh they’re not great artists! I personally prefer the art in Not Another Teen Movie, which is arguably the superior She’s All That remake.
3. Both protagonists leave a pool party after being humiliated.
High school kids suck, especially popular teens on power trips. In both movies, there is a villain played by the ex of the protagonist doing the makeover. In She’s All That it was mean girl Taylor, while He’s All That had viral star Jordan. Each of their nasty antics peaked at a school pool party, leading to the villains humiliating the movie’s resident geeky character: Taylor poured her drink over Laney, and Jordan threw Cameron’s cherished camera in the pool.
This led to both of our geeks storming out and leaving the party early. Each of them being victimised at the party then led to them both becoming wildly popular the next day at school and getting nominated for prom king and queen, respectively.
4. Both included unexpected performances from the popular protagonist.
She’s All That had Zack’s hacky sack performance art piece, while He’s All That saw Padgett on stage for karaoke. Sure, Padgett’s ‘Teenage Dream’ performance was less unexpected as Addison is both a singer and TikTok famous dancer, but like Zack, Padgett revealed a vulnerable side. Padgett’s confidence diminished after her ex entered the party, leading to Cameron rescuing her on stage and performing a surprise duet with her.
By comparison, Zack impressed Laney by letting down his walls in his bizarre hacky sack monologue performed in front of Laney’s judgemental arts crowd. I still think Zack’s performance reigns supreme!
5. Both movies feature the “fucking bet” line.
Like She’s All That, the 2021 remake has a low-key villain bestie who exposed the bet before prom. Paul Walker did it best in 1999, but Madison Pettis gave him a run for his money as Padgett’s frenemy, Alden. In each movie’s penultimate scene, the bet is revealed to the makeover subject, leading to both of them having a similar response. Laney spat at Zack, “Am I a fucking bet?”, while Cameron snapped at Padgett, “I was a fucking bet.”
6. Both protagonists feature tense phone calls with protective siblings.
After the bet is revealed, both movies feature a starkly similar scene playing out. Laney’s brother and Cameron’s sister receive a phone call from the person who agreed to the bet — Zack and Padgett — and the protective siblings basically tell them to buzz off (to put it politely).
7. Both include hectic dance battles at the prom.
When it comes to She’s All That, you don’t get much more iconic than the prom dance battle to Fatboy Slim’s ‘Rockafeller Skank’, which in its day was hilariously parodied for being obviously performed by professional dancers — rather than awkward high school teens.
He’s All That gave their own updated version of the dance battle, but the She’s All That’s dance just comes across as way more effortlessly cool. You can’t beat the pure ’90s vibes of Fatboy Slim, and the revised song choice of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ ‘Dance Off’ was a little too literal for my taste.
8. The red dress is back but with a 2021 twist.
Yes, it’s a red dress. No, the two dresses don’t really share any more similarities than that.
9. The iconic ‘Kiss Me’ song plays in both movies.
It would be rude NOT to feature the Sixpence None The Richer song from the original movie that launched the rom-com anthem, not to mention solidifying the track as a supermarket playlist staple. ‘Kiss Me’ played as Laney descended down the stairs in her trademark red dress, and in He’s All That the song is revisited at the end of the prom — but this time it’s a dance track reworked by Cyn.
The moment when Rachael Leigh Cook recognises the song that soundtracked Laney’s glow-up and remarked, “why do I know this song?” is one of the greatest crossovers in cinematic history. Change my mind.
10. Matthew Lillard is back and drops his signature dance moves.
I stand corrected, THIS scene was the greatest cinematic crossover in history. She’s All That alumni, Matthew Lillard, played the school principal in the reboot and as ‘Kiss Me’ started to thump throughout the school hall, he broke into his iconic 1999 dance. Cook’s character watched on and clapped along. We do not deserve Matthew Lillard.
— risa (@rriiiiissa) August 27, 2021
Like Rachael’s inclusion in the movie, Matthew doesn’t seem to be playing the same role. His character is named Principle Bosch, while on She’s All That we all know him as infamous The Real World star, Brock Hudson.
Does this mean his whole dance throwback makes absolutely no sense? Probably. Do we care? Absolutely not.
He’s All That and She’s All That can be streamed now on Netflix.