As a Gen-Z teen, I make sure to consume the recommended amount of TikTok-scrolling per day. Enough to keep me up to date with all of the latest trends, yet not an unhealthy obsession.
I think we all, as today’s young population, fall into one of the following categories: People who haven’t downloaded TikTok out of disinterest; Individuals who are absolutely obsessed with spending hours on the app; And young people who take my position, and scroll when time is available.
The last two categories, taking into no consideration time spent on the app, have had one event metaphorically shoved down their throats in the past few weeks.
The release and streaming of Netflix’s newest original movie “He’s All That,” through excruciating advertisements.
The film got one key point across excellently: this movie was produced with TikTok as the target demographic. TikTok is slowly seeping into culture through all facets of media now, Netflix movies included.
Under no control of my own, my roommate flipped the film on. I can’t stop thinking about the travesty of a film, so let’s take a dive into it.
“He’s All That” was produced by Mark Waters, a director with a notably hit-or-miss career, from classics like “(500) Days of Summer” and “Mean Girls” to flops like “Vampire Academy,” which boasts a 16% on Rotten Tomatoes.
“He’s All That” can seamlessly fall into the “miss” category of Waters’ works.
The film encapsulates teenage life without understanding teenage life at all. In short, the film just doesn’t get the TikTok generation, however hard it tries. Where Waters succeeds with “Mean Girls,” he crashes and burns with “He’s All That,” and it’s apparent through the ever-constant social media vomit that summarizes the plotline.
“He’s All That” serves as a gender-switched remake of the 1999 teen comedy “She’s All That.” Both films are adaptations of George Cukor’s film “My Fair Lady” and Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion.”
“He’s All That” stars TikTok influencer Addison Rae. Her character, Padgett Sawyer, is a TikTok influencer herself who finds her boyfriend cheating on her with one of his pop-star backup dancers. The event is live streamed, and Padgett is informed by her boss, played by Kourtney Kardashian, that she has lost her sponsorship deal as an influencer because of the scandal.
To win back her sponsorship, Padgett’s friend Alden, played by Madison Pettis, dares Padgett to turn the most painfully unpopular boy at her school, Cameron Kweller, played by Tanner Buchanan, into that year’s prom king.
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Even a simple overview of the plot gives anyone a window’s look into just how out-of-touch the film actually is.
High-school popularity and social media drips off every element of this film like corn syrup, and the plotline moves fast without an ounce of charm.
Rae and Buchanan share little to no chemistry throughout the film, no matter how romantic a horseback riding lesson or impromptu photoshoot by Cameron may be. Sure, the film is undeniably star-studded, but the acting by the aforementioned headliners is dry and contains little inventiveness or savvy.
After this movie, I dream of the day when I can mindlessly scroll through TikTok without being reminded by banal advertisements of the Netflix mess my roommate coerced me to watch.