3 Reasons It Makes No Sense to Remake She’s All That

By  · Published on April 8th, 2015


I’ve never seen She’s All That. It came at a time when I was too old for its kind, and thanks to the spheres of pop culture I’m pretty much familiar enough with it anyway. According to The Tracking Board, the 1999 teen movie starring Rachel Leigh Cook and Freddie Prinze Jr. is now being remade, and I’ll skip that one, too. Here are three reasons why Hollywood shouldn’t even bother in the first place:

1. The title is dated – Often Hollywood looks to remaking and rebooting properties because they have familiar names and therefore come with built-in awareness. She’s All That certainly is everything of that sort, but it’s also a title based on dated ’90s slang. According to a Vanity Fair list of movies employing trendy movie titles, the term “all that” died when the Nickelodeon show All That went off the air in 2005. The remake would need a modern day equivalent. Don’t ask me what that is. I’m old and not hip with today’s slang.

2. The plot isn’t original – Imagine She’s All That with a different title, whether something more timeless or currently trendy (“She’s On Fleek”?). Then it’s just another of a whole bunch of modernizations of George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion” (and My Fair Lady). And we just got such a TV series, quickly cancelled, in Selfie, and we even just got such a teen movie, in the form of The Duff. And swapping the gender, as Screen Crush’s Britt Hayes suggests, is just Can’t Buy Me Love, which has also been unnecessarily remade, and more recently the Julia Stiles Hallmark TV movie The Makeover.

3. It’s a joke – Sure, you may enjoy She’s All That. I’m sure it’s got its charms as it is. But the idea behind She’s All That is a joke. The concept of the hot actress playing “ugly” in overalls (which are apparently in right now again anyway) and glasses and ponytail who is magically beautiful in a dress and contacts and new hairstyle was made fun of since the original’s release, even before officially spoofed in Not Another Teen Movie. While parody doesn’t kill all it touches – Hot Shots! can’t kill the desire for a Top Gun sequel or remake or whatever turns out – in this case it’s more than that. It’s almost like if they tried to remake Troll 2. Almost.

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.