Movie Review: She’s All That

Directed by Robert Iscove

3 Stars

This movie, released in 1999 and directed by Robert Iscove, is considered a Teen Fiction classic. It’s set in California and follows Zach Siler. Torrance High‘s star student and athlete who accepts a bet with one of his jock friends. It entails turning one of their school's most undesirable girls into the prom queen. Enter Laney Boggs, a clumsy, unpopular, glasses-wearing art student.

The starter plot is rather straightforward. However, the movie prompts quite a few themes that feel almost scattered. Along with the movie being reasonably fast-paced, it becomes a bit hard to pinpoint the real message or focus of the story. Is it the inciting incident, the resulting unintentional teen romance, the social hierarchy, or the characters’ coming of age? It doesn’t prioritize or invest enough into any of these areas after promoting a mirage of conflicts concerning each.

Overall, by not trying to mean so much, it had the potential to mean more or could’ve, at least, made more sense. However, this may very well be a subconscious comparison with other movies with similar settings. Why might this movie have the renown that it does? Perhaps, ditching my Mean Girls conditioning, it’s not one to be analyzed in the first place. After all, it is a relatively short circa 2000 teen fiction cliché. So, almost naturally, other aspects of the film, such as the soundtrack “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer and the flippancy of movies of the era are what count because She’s All That is not at all incapable of being enjoyed. I recommend this movie for those ages 14+.

View in Library Catalogue: DVD