In the most recent retelling of the “Pygmalion” archetype, “He’s All That” provides a Zoomer update to the classic 1999 film, “She’s All That,” with gender-flipped starring roles and a 2021 tech revamp that goes beyond Zach Siler’s (Freddie Prinze Jr.) enormous flip phone. (Although, in all fairness, his mobile phone, which had an antenna that could be retracted, was probably extremely innovative at the time.)
However, several of the original cast members, including Rachael Leigh Cook, as well as the playwright R. Lee Fleming, Jr. and costume designer Denise Wingate, are all returning for this new instalment.
“I think I was the obnoxious person on set who kept repeating, ‘Well, in the first one, we did this..'” Wingate says with a laugh. “I think I was the person who kept saying, ‘Well, in the first one, we did this.'” “I felt like an old statesman, always comparing different aspects of the situation.”
After watching “She’s All That” for the 2,498th time in preparation for the reboot, I couldn’t help but do the same. I was keeping an eye out for Easter eggs in the reboot, which stars the TikTok sensation Addison Rae as Padgett Sawyer, a popular teen influencer and image-builder in the vein of Professor Henry Higgins or Zach Siler. I couldn’t help but do the same.
Padgett’s alterations are truly his brand in the world of “He’s All That,” which is dominated by Generation Z and loaded with the influence of social media and smartphones. She tells her friends, “I know it sounds conceited, but makeovers are my thing,” after she catches her also-influencer bro boyfriend Jordan Van Draanen (Peyton Meyer) cheating with a music video extra, which she live-streamed to her millions of followers. “I know it sounds conceited, but makeovers are my thing,” she says. “I know it sounds conceited, but makeovers are my thing.” Padgett devises a plan in order to turn an unwary mark into a candidate for the role of Prom King, as well as to regain her sponsorships and her reputation. Padgett’s TikTok #sponcon bargains assist her busy nurse mom, Anna (Cook), pay the bills and build up her daughter’s college fund. This is not only a matter of a personal nature.
Padgett starts the day with her beauty routine, which she broadcasts live to her devoted fans. She then appears for breakfast wearing a pink chevron M Missoni mini dress and wedge heels that were a gift from the fictional brand Bunny Venom. The opening scene of the movie takes place in Padgett’s upbeat and pink-filled room.
The pastel pink crop tops and baby cardigans that Padgett wore did, in fact, remind one of the original character Taylor Vaughn, played by Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, who was practically Zach’s Jordan. However, Wingate, who was also responsible for the costume design “Cruel Intentions,” production designer Maria Caso, and director Mark Waters (“Mean Girls”) reviewed Padgett’s colour pallet, and “we genuinely felt like that was her subject,” they said. That was her world, and she was just a girly-girl at heart. It was successful for her.”
Padgett’s wardrobe was filled with labels that a true young influencer would wear, such as Alo Yoga, i.am.koko.la, Spiritual Gangster, and American Eagle. Industry veteran Wingate also engaged herself in the new world of TikTok. “Clearly, due to the fact that it’s Addison, a lot of people wanted to offer us things, and people were quite generous,” she adds. “It just so happened that [Padgett] was a factor in making this movie work,” the director said.
For the silver-fringed flapper mini-dress that Padgett wore to a Roaring ’20s-themed party that was held at the mega-mansion of one of Padgett’s wealthy friends, Wingate found inspiration from another real-life figure: When Kris Jenner celebrated her birthday in 2015, she gave a party with a similar theme, and Kendall Jenner wore a shimmering dress designed by Yousef Al Jasmi.
Wingate exclaims, “I absolutely adore the way it moves.” “I was able to track down the designer, and the dress was approximately $5,000 (editor’s note: the actual price was $8,000). I’m like, ‘Forget it. I’m making it.'”
In addition, the Jazz Age bash featured a nod to the film that served as its inspiration, at least in terms of the outfit design process. In the first version of “She’s All That,” Wingate and her team searched local Goodwills and other charity stores for period-appropriate silhouettes in order to dress the background performers in the scene that took place at the prom. “I’m very, very big on repurposing everything,” says Wingate, who then modified and customised the haul in a “very, very, very particular palette” of pastels and “muted, desaturated colours.” “I’m very, very big on repurposing stuff,” adds Wingate.
She says, “Then after the movie is over, I always prefer to donate it back to thrift stores.” “Then when the movie is over…”
The major event also presented the perfect setting for the makeover reveal of Cameron (Tanner Buchanan), who isn’t a nerd in the sense that teen movies typically portray them, but rather a defiant outcast. He uses a film camera to shoot pictures, in contrast to his contemporaries, who are dependent on modern technology (albeit his cell phone is an improvement on Zach’s). Padgett makes the observation that “he’s a total catastrophe, odd, egotistical, and antisocial.”
Wingate used plaids and concert T-shirts by punk groups like New York Dolls to represent the youthful anarchist. He was inspired by the grunge style of the 1990s, which is also making a comeback at this time. The clothes Cameron wears also allude to his rural upbringing and his abilities as a horse whisperer. “He was a mix of this cowboy punk, wearing his G.G. Allin hardcore punk rock T-shirt with his cowboy boots, coming from Wyoming and working with horses,” she adds. “He wore his G.G. Allin hardcore punk rock T-shirt with his cowboy boots.”
Padgett takes Cameron, Cameron’s best friend Nisha (played by Annie Jacob), and Cameron’s precocious little sister Brin (played by Isabella Crovetti, who is a dead ringer for Anna Paquin in the original) on a shopping trip to Venice Beach, complete with the obligatory outfit try-on montage. This is all in preparation for the party. Padgett reveals the new Cameron after she has exercised her beauty instructional abilities by grooming and tailoring him in a wide-pinstripe double-breasted suit and bow tie. This comes after she has trimmed Cameron’s scraggly hair and given his face a Dermaflash treatment (two above).
Cam’s arty best friend Nisha, who is excited about their post-graduation vacation overseas, delivers significant Easter Eggs from “She’s All That,” such as the frayed denim overalls with a Laney Boggs reference and an eclectic, vintage-infused look (above).
Wingate is of the opinion that she adores that look nonetheless. “It also had a really cosmopolitan feel, such as her wearing Guatemalan jackets, which is something I did in the original.”
In terms of her personality, Jordan Van Deen — formerly known as Dickman before Padgett’s image architecture — seems to be a combination of the vacillating and clout-seeking Taylor, as well as the obnoxious “Real World”-alumnus Brock Hudson, for whom she dumped Zach (Matthew Lillard, also making a cameo). Jordan “V.D.,” as he is wont to sign off, wears his acid-washed jeans and faux-silk animal print joggers too low, with his “faux-sace” underwear waistband showing — and he doesn’t wear a shirt, not even to school. He is also known as “V.D.”
“There are some influences whose styles are somewhat similar to mine, but I’m not going to identify names because I don’t want to… I’m going to try to be nice, but I have to mention that this is somewhat dubious. A bit out of the ordinary,’ “says Wingate. I really grabbed what you said and ran with it, making it even more absurd in the process.
The majority of Jordan’s outfits were purchased by Wingate from the outdoor flea market known as The Santee Alley in Downtown Los Angeles. This market is known for selling party garments that are vivid in colour and print. “Because we had so many laughs and he was such a good sport about everything, dressing him was the most enjoyable experience I’ve ever had. I just adored him, and I couldn’t help but think of Paul Walker whenever I saw him “she adds this in reference to the late actor who, in the first film, portrayed Zach’s most sworn nemesis, Dean. “Their personalities were extremely, extremely similar in real life, which contributed to the fact that I liked him even more due to the fact that I loved Paul so much.”
Padgett’s red prom dress (seen below) by Faviana, which was the company that supplied all of the gowns for the event, is, of course, the “She’s All That” reference that people remember the best. Laney’s great disclosure came about in the first version of the story when she wore the red dress. In contrast, the climax gown in this adaptation makes Padgett the centre of attention during the election contest for the prom court as well as the renowned choreographed dance number (or battle, in this case).
According to Wingate, “It’s extremely subliminal, but it’s actually very, very, very well thought out.” [Citation needed]
The colour scheme for the prom in “She’s All That” is all red, white, and gold, and Laney attends the event dressed in black so that she can stand out. In the episode “He’s All That,” Wingate changed the colour scheme of the “Under the Sea”-themed prom to blue, green, and silver. She states that after the change, Padgett was the only person to attend the prom wearing red. “Therefore, in the same way that we paid homage to the source material, we used this really specialised colour palette.”
In the final flashbacks, Padgett’s mother Anna attends the prom as a chaperone while wearing a black beaded lace dress that is comparable to the outfit that Laney wore in the first version. In addition, Lillard makes an unexpected appearance in the film in the role of an impatient authority figure. He certainly showed off his Brock Hudson dance moves toward the end of the film. Therefore, the narrative and the style both come full circle at the end.
According to Wingate, “I have to admit, in the process of rewatching the first one, it stood up pretty nicely.”
(At this very moment, I have a strong desire to outfit myself in the madras print halter top and leggings that Tamara Mello wore in the 1999 film.)
“Since it’s such a timeless piece, I had high hopes that this would live up to its reputation.”