Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Bag of Chips

It's springtime. You know what that means. Graduation Day is right around the corner. Congratulations, class of '11! (Er, or do they say Twenty-eleven/Two thousand eleven?) To celebrate this time of the year, I have decided to watch and review ten teen movies that came out when I myself was a teenager (and the majority of them came out when I was in high school). Oh, the memories, the memories! It's like being served nostalgia on a plate! We'll first start with...

She's All That
Director: Robert Iscove
Cast: Freddie Prinze Jr., Rachael Leigh Cook, Paul Walker, Anna Paquin, Kieran Culkin
Released: January 29, 1999
Viewed in theaters: February 7, 1999

As you can tell from the title, this came out during the time when it was still cool to say "She's/he's/it's all that and a bag of chip"....which I will admit to sometimes still saying, but only as a joke, of course. This isn't that great of a movie. It pretty much blows if I'm being honest. This is the third or fourth time I've seen it and it doesn't hold up very well. There's no charm or cuteness that makes me want to watch this over and over. There aren't even any quotable lines. However, it is a quintessential teen movie that came out when I was in high school, so I had to include it. 

Freddie Prinze Jr. plays Zach who is the all-American wonder boy. He's on the soccer team, he's dating the most popular girl in school, he's rich, and he's been accepted to Dartmouth, Yale, AND Harvard. (I know, I know, I'm rolling my eyes too). For somebody who is supposed to be Darthmouth/Yale/Harvard material, why is he dating such a shallow and dumb girl? But that doesn't matter because his girlfriend dumps him after meeting a guy (Matthew Lillard) from The Real World (heh, how '90s!). Zach's friend (Paul Walker) makes a bet with him after Zach says he can turn any girl at their school into the Prom Queen (because we all know Mr. All-American will be crowned Prom King). So Walker says he'll take him on, as long as he gets to choose the girl. 

The Chosen One is Laney played by the doe-eyed Rachael Leigh Cook. (I do covet her eyes, they are so very pretty!) Laney is somewhat of a loser/outcast/weirdo. She only has one friend, she's into this weird performance art thingy, and she's very cynical. But it's very clear underneath those baggy clothes and glasses (gasp!), she's a very pretty girl (a lot prettier than Zach's ex, I would say) so it doesn't take much for him to be attracted to her. And in the end, he ends up falling for her. Awwww.

I love how in, like, one day, she goes from being the invisible girl to being a nominee for Prom Queen. the hell did that happen? Did they vote for her because she was pretty? Because she's hanging out with Zach? Because they felt sorry for her when Zach's ex was mean to her at the party? I don't get it! 

One of the things that doesn't make this movie work (besides the awful script and pointless scenes that have nothing to do with the movie - the pizza scene (ugh!) comes to mind-) the two main characters are very bland and boring and it's no wonder they fall for each other. I have never gotten the appeal of of FPJ; to me he is as exciting as watching a cardboard box. RLC was more more interesting in that 30-second "Any questions?" drug PSA she did right before this was released than she is in this movie. 

Don't give that girl a frying pan!

Besides Walker and Lillard, the supporting cast has everyone from Anna Paquin and Kieran Culkin playing Zach's and Laney's younger siblings to Usher and L'il Kim. Usher plays the David Silver of Harrison High School. (That means he's the school's DJ for those of you who may not get that Beverly Hills 90210 reference). Who knows why L'il Kim's name is on the poster because she barely has any lines, probably because she's a horrible "actress". There's also the kid who played the Shermination in the American Pie movies, Gabrielle Union (who will show up again in a couple more of my teen movies), and Dule Hill. Yeah, that's right: Charlie from The West Wing. Oh, and how could I forget Sarah Michelle Gellar's pointless cameo? In which she has no lines. Kevin Pollack is the only adult in the movie playing Laney's father. Oh, there is some guy who plays Zach's dad, but I don't know who he is. 

I've compiled a Teen Movie checklist/survey, if you will, that I will be posting on all my teen movie reviews. I've come to the conclusion that to be considered a true teen movie, they must have at least three of these six trademark teen cliche scenes:

Is there a party scene? Check
Is there a prom scene? Check
Is there a football scene? No...but there is a soccer scene, and soccer is called football everywhere else in the world, so on second thought...check!
Is there a makeover scene? Check! 
Is there a scene where all the different high school cliques are being shown? Nope
Was this movie spoofed in Not Another Teen Movie? Considering the majority of NATM spoofs She's All That, then definitely check. The main character in that movie is named Janey, after all! I love how they spoof the makeover scene when all she does is take off her glasses and takes down her ponytail and all of a sudden she's hot. Not a far cry from the actual movie! 

And now my survey:

Do I own the soundtrack?/favorite song - I do not own the soundtrack, but I do love the single Kiss Me by Sixpence None the Richer that is played about three times during the film. (I even had the CD single!) 

Darkest scene - Probably when Clea Duvall (another supporting character I forgot to mention) and some other girl tells Laney she should kill herself.

Favorite line - None, like I mentioned earlier, there are no memorable or quotable lines in this.

Favorite character - If I had to choose, then probably Anna Paquin's character, McKenzie. She's spunky and I had a cat named McKenzie, so she gets points for that.

Favorite scene - Uh.......................... oh, hell, probably when they're dancing to The Rockerfeller Skank at the Prom. I like that song. It was (unintentionally) funny when Laney started crying after Zach's ex g/f poured her drink on her dress. It was way funnier when they spoofed it in NATM. 

Hey, it's the '90s!: The fact that they all had pagers! Hahahahahahahahahaha! Oh, you silly '90s teens! (By the way, I was a '90s teen, but I never had a pager. Even I knew those things were outdated back then!) 

Now this movie came out when I was a senior in high school, so I thought I would make a top ten list on why the class of '99 is the best graduating class of all time (because we are!) Since I'll be doing ten movies, I'll post one reason for each review. (Who says I'm not good at math?)

1. Hollywood loves the class of '99! There are so many teen movies that came out that year where the main characters are seniors. Sure, She's All That wasn't one of my favorites, but there were better ones which I'll be reviewing. Okay, to be fair, maybe I've only noticed this because I was in high school at the time and these movies were targeted towards me. The only teen movies that I can think of that I've seen in the last ten years are Mean Girls, Easy A, and Superbad...but I'm sure there are lots more I'm missing. But I like to think that the class of '99 is so awesome, that Hollywood wanted to make as many movies as they could about The. Best. Class. Ever!


  1. wow i completely agree with a lot of what you've mentioned in this:)

  2. I really like your review on this movie. However, the part when Laney cried when Taylor poured beer on her dress pissed me off. If I was Laney, I would've mopped the floor with that bitch and spit on her face.