Every Friday throughout the summer, we’re posting a movie that someone on our staff has picked as one of their favorite Miramax films. While the summer blockbusters invade the theaters, consider watching one of the staff picks over the weekend instead. Today’s pick is She’s All That from our Financial Analyst, Cynthia Rupeka.
The other month, I read an interview with director, producer, and screenwriter M. Night Shyamalan on Movies.com where he begrudgingly confessed that he ghostwrote She’s All That. Admittedly, I may be reading in-between the lines, but I sensed a tinge of embarrassment upon this revelation. While it’s a departure from his better known supernatural works like The Sixth Sense or Signs, I say toss aside the shame and say it proud Mr. M Night, this is a great movie!
The story is one we’ve seen before—popular but sensitive jock, Zack (Freddie Prinze Jr.), makes a bet with a popular insensitive jock, Dean (Paul Walker), that he can turn the artsy nerdy girl, Laney Boggs (Rachael Leigh Cook), into the prom queen. All it takes is contacts, a new haircut, a tight red dress and instantaneous popularity ensues.
While the plot doesn’t break new ground, I can smell the 90s Teen Spirit from a mile away. From the self-obsessed Real World character of Brock Hudson (Matthew Lillard), to the kids using pagers and playing Sega, to Zack’s impromptu hacky sack interpretive dance performance, or the use phrases like “wiggin out”—it all brings back such fond teenage memories.
If the 90s pop culture references aren’t enough for you, the movie also includes a few cameos. Usher plays the school’s PA Announcer, who somehow is allowed to use his airtime to not only recite the day’s announcements, but give updates on the latest school gossip (who knew he was the pioneer Gossip Girl). And, while difficult to spot, rapper Lil Kim plays a highschool mean girl cronie.
Finally, if you aren’t sold yet, the film showcases a mass choreographed dance scene. At the prom, as soon as Fat Boy Slim starts playing, the entire school body breaks into a dance that puts the Macarena to shame and includes a guys vs. girls Grease-esque dance-off.
So, just to summarize if you are ever in the market for a heart-throb loaded rom-com with 90s highschool throwbacks this just may be the film for you.
- When his friends show up at the beach, Zach's worried about how they'll act towards Laney, but everything goes well... too well. In this scene: Zack Siler (Freddie Prinze Jr.), Laney Boggs (Rachael Leigh Cook), Dean Sampson (Paul Walker), Katie (Gabrielle Union), Lil' Kim (Alex)
- After seeing his ex with another guy, Zack realizes his options at school are far from limited. After witnessing his ex kiss another guy, a bet is placed between Zack and Dean on who In this scene: Campus D.J. (Usher Raymond), Zack Siler (Freddie Prinze Jr.), Dean Sampson (Paul Walker), Taylor Vaughan (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe), Brock Hudson (Matthew Lillard), Laney Boggs (Rachael Leigh Cook)
- Zach enlists both his sister and the soccer team to help Laney get party-ready. In this scene: Mackenzie Siler (Anna Paquin), Laney Boggs (Rachael Leigh Cook), Zack Siler (Freddie Prinze Jr.), Simon Boggs (Kieran Culkin), Katie (Gabrielle Union), Dean Sampson (Paul Walker), Alex (Lil' Kim)