She's All That

Bomb Rating: 

After 90 minutes of this swill it felt like the left half of my brain had melted -- as if the person sitting next to me had spent the entire movie driving a knitting needle through my temple while singing Garth Brooks tunes. Welcome to Los Angeles High School, where director Robert Iscove and writer R. Lee Fleming Jr. have given new meaning to the word cliché.

Class President Zack (Freddie Prinze, Jr.) makes a bet with his best friend, Dean (Paul Walker), after breaking up with Taylor (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe) that he can turn any girl into a prom queen. Instead of picking the quadriplegic with the cleft lip and the bowel problem, Dean, who has the brain of a sausage (or a Hollywood writer), selects Laney Boggs (Rachael Leigh Cook), who has that confounding "I'm a model with glasses and my hair pulled back real tight" look. They actually have to explain her selection in the script. Zack says something like: "Oh no, not the recluse. Anything but the recluse." Okay, Zack, how about the four-hundred pound third-world transfer student who's pierced her clitoris with the family tribal spear?

Zack and Laney have the kind of romantic chemistry you get from mixing water and milk. The comedic element is supposed to be provided by Matthew Lillard who plays a former cast member of "The Real World" and steals Taylor away at the beginning of the film. The ironic thing about the movie's parody of "The Real World" is that while "The Real World" is annoying, Lillard's performance makes you wish you could jam a tazer in your rectum, turn on the juice, and watch MTV 24-7. As far as I'm concerned, a great career move for Lillard would be decapitation.

Utterly devoid of anything resembling emotion, the movie attempts to insert some with Zack's father (Tim Matheson) and Laney's father (Kevin Pollack) toward the end of the movie. Zack confronts Dad. Laney's gives her the "go get 'em" speech. It's like emotional farting. You can actually see the fumes from this thing cascading off the screen like some computer-generated space anomaly overtaking the Enterprise as the audience sort of buckles from the impact. I'm pretty sure that about the point when my brain melted.

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