She's All That

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She's All That
Shes All That.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Robert Iscove
Produced by
Written by R. Lee Fleming, Jr.
M. Night Shyamalan (uncredited)
Starring
Music by Stewart Copeland
Cinematography Francis Kenny
Editing by Casey O. Rohrs
Studio FilmColony
Distributed by Miramax Films
Release dates
  • January 29, 1999 (1999-01-29)
Running time 97 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $10 million[1]
Box office $103,166,989[1]

She's All That is a 1999 American teen romantic comedy film directed by Robert Iscove, starring Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Rachael Leigh Cook. It is a modern adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion and George Cukor's 1964 film My Fair Lady. It was one of the most popular teen films of the 1990s and reached No. 1 at the box office in its first week of release.[1]

Plot[edit]

Zack Siler (Freddie Prinze, Jr.) is the big man on campus at his Southern Californian high school. His popular but narcissistic girlfriend, Taylor Vaughan (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe), ditches him for a faded reality TV star from The Real World, Brock Hudson (Matthew Lillard), whom she met on spring break in Florida. Although bitter over the break-up, Zack consoles himself by claiming that Taylor is replaceable by any girl from the school. Zack's friend, Dean Sampson, Jr. (Paul Walker), disagrees and challenges him to a bet on whether Zack can turn any random girl into the Prom Queen within six weeks, a coveted position held by the most popular girl in school. Dean picks out Laney Boggs (Rachael Leigh Cook), a dorky, solitary, unpopular art student, as his choice for Zack.

Zack approaches and attempts to befriend Laney in the hope of subsequently transforming her into prom queen material. His first encounter with her is a complete failure, when she pointedly ignores his advance and walks away from him. With help from Laney's friend Jesse Jackson (Elden Henson), Zack is eventually successful in getting Laney to take him to a theater lounge frequented by artists and performers. Intending to deter him, Laney arranges for Zack to be called onto the stage and perform, to his surprise. Zack manages to improvise a show with the Hacky Sack he happens to carry in his pocket. Laney is impressed by the performance, but rejects him again after he attempts to charm her.

Zack befriends her brother Simon (Kieran Culkin) and, in an attempt to stop this, Laney agrees to go to the beach with him once. She starts to make friends in the popular crowd as they get a chance to know her. Zack then successfully persuades her to attend a party at Preston's (Dulé Hill) house the same night, and he employs his sister Mac (Anna Paquin) to give her a makeover, transforming her into a stunning beauty. Laney's attendance at Preston's party sparks jealousy in Taylor, who then humiliates Laney, but Laney is consoled by Zack, who has by now developed a true affection for her.

As a result of her new appearance and Zack's interest, Laney is nominated for Prom Queen and begins an uneasy battle with Taylor for the crown. In the meantime, Dean begins to show an interest in Laney as her popularity begins to soar and Zack's victory becomes more imminent. Dean tries to invite Laney as his prom partner in an attempt to ruin Zack's attempt to boost Laney's winning chance with his own popularity, but Laney refuses. After falling out with Zack, Dean deliberately tells Laney about the bet and she forces a confession from Zack in public. Feeling objectified and betrayed, Laney refuses to see Zack again.

Unable to reconcile with Laney, Zack ends up attending the prom with his sister, while Taylor arrives alone thinking that Zack is still interested in her, despite his refusal of her advances. A disheartened Laney reluctantly dresses up after persuasion by her father Wayne (Kevin Pollak) and goes to the dance with Dean when he shows up at her house in a tuxedo to invite her again to be his prom date.

At the prom, after a dance scene presided over by the school's resident DJ (Usher Raymond), Mac meets Jesse and they become friends. Dean boasts to Preston and others in the bathroom that he is succeeding in seducing Laney and has rented a hotel room with intention of having sex with her. Jesse overhears this and warns Mac and Zack. Taylor is then crowned Prom Queen with just over half the votes; she begins a long berating speech which is interrupted by the microphone being turned off by a teacher. Laney leaves the prom with Dean, while Zack attempts to intervene but loses track of them.

When Laney returns to her home, Zack is there waiting for her, along with her father and Simon who are waiting up for her. Laney explains how she fought off Dean's advances by deafening him with an air horn. Zack confesses his true feelings to Laney, and asks for forgiveness as well as the chance to further their relationship, which she grants. Laney tells Zack that she is considering art school after graduation, and Zack jokingly tells her that she has inspired him to pursue a career in performance art. After their first dance and kiss, Laney asks Zack about his bet with Dean (which is now lost), and Zack responds that he will gracefully honor the terms.

At the graduation ceremony, the terms of the bet are revealed, Zack must appear nude on stage because he lost. After his name is called, Zack heads to the stage wearing only a graduation cap and strategically carrying a soccer ball. In the final shot he is not visible, but we see Laney with the soccer ball being thrown to her and the rest of the students reacting to Zack no longer having it for cover.

Cast[edit]

Soundtrack[edit]

Production[edit]

Writing[edit]

R. Lee Fleming, Jr. is officially credited as the sole screenwriter for the film, and in a 2002 interview, M. Night Shyamalan confirmed that he polished the screenplay while adapting Stuart Little and writing a spec script for The Sixth Sense. This was also confirmed in the film's audio commentary by director Robert Iscove.[2]

In 2013, Shyamalan claimed that instead of polishing Fleming, Jr.'s original script, he actually ghost-wrote the film.[3] This was disputed by someone who claimed to be Fleming, Jr.[4] in a message on Twitter that has since been deleted.[5]

On June 17, 2013, Jack Lechner (who served as Miramax's head of development in the late 1990s) confirmed that technically both Shyamalan and Fleming, Jr. contributed to the script: Fleming, Jr. wrote the initial script that Miramax bought while Shyamalan did an uncredited rewrite (doing more than "a polish") that got the film green-lit. Lechner reiterated that content from both writers was included in the final cut of the film.[6][7]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

The film has received mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 38% based on reviews from 58 critics, with the sites consensus: Despite its charming young leads, She's All That can't overcome its predictable, inconsistently funny script.[8]

Box office[edit]

Generally regarded as a "feel-good movie", the film was a sleeper hit and reached No. 1 at the box office in the first week of its release in theaters, grossing $16,065,430 over the Super Bowl opening weekend.[1] It earned $63,366,989 in the United States and $39,800,000 at international box offices, totaling $103,166,989 worldwide against a production budget of $10,000,000.[1]

Accolades[edit]

The film won and was nominated for several awards.[9]

Year Ceremony Category Nominee Result
1999 YoungStar Awards Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Comedy Film Rachael Leigh Cook Won
Teen Choice Awards Movie – Choice Actor Freddie Prinze, Jr. Won
Movie – Sexiest Love Scene Freddie Prinze, Jr. & Rachael Leigh Cook Won
Movie – Choice Comedy Nominated
MTV Movie Awards Best Breakthrough Female Performance Rachael Leigh Cook Nominated
Best On-Screen Duo Freddie Prinze, Jr. & Rachael Leigh Cook Nominated
2000 Young Hollywood Awards Best Bad Girl Jodi Lyn O'Keefe Won
Best Song Sixpence None the Richer ("Kiss Me") Won
Kids' Choice Awards, USA Favorite Movie Couple Freddie Prinze, Jr. & Rachael Leigh Cook Won
Blockbuster Entertainment Awards Favorite Actress – Newcomer (Internet Only) Rachael Leigh Cook Won
Favorite Actor – Comedy/Romance Freddie Prinze, Jr. Nominated
ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards Most Performed Songs from Motion Pictures Matt Slocum ("Kiss Me") Won
ALMA Awards Outstanding Actor in a Feature Film Freddie Prinze, Jr. Nominated

References[edit]

External links[edit]