She’s All That is the best example of the trope “Beautiful all along.” That thing in movies where an “unattractive” girl with glasses and a ponytail takes off her glasses, lets down her hair, and suddenly she’s gorgeous. She’s All That is also a contemporary high school retelling of Pygmalion aka My Fair Lady. It became one of the most popular teen movies of the late 90’s. Since it probably follows the most teen movie clichés. Zack is the popular jock who’s just been dumped by his conceited girlfriend. You can tell it’s the 90’s, because she leaves him for a guy who was on The Real World. His friend then proceeds to make a bet that Zach can turn any girl he choses into a prom queen. He chooses the artsy social outcast Laney Boggs. After a few failed attempts, she finally lets her guard down after the iconic makeover. Rachael Leigh Cook is clearly very attractive, but her character arc is still the most genuine part of the movie. Since she struggles with letting herself come out of her shell. The same can be said about 90’s mainstay Freddie Prinze Jr. at times. The only thing that distracts from the romance is a few out of place moments. Like the bizarrely raunchy lunch room scene. Of course the secret does comes out and you already know what to expect, but it doesn’t make their first kiss any less effective. I didn’t even realize the song “Kiss Me” came from this movie. Since it feels like it fits another 1999 teen movie a bit better. Regardless, She’s All That is in fact, all that.
P.S. I’ll bet you didn’t know M. Night Shyamalan wrote part of the movie.