January 19, 2017

She's All That

Searching for some pre-Inauguration escapist entertainment, we scrolled through the Amazon Prime Comedy Movies and stopped on She's All That. I'd never seen it before but Emily said it was surprisingly good - she described it as "like a poor man's Clueless".
It was pretty funny - a 1999 teenage rewrite of Pygmalion, or a reboot of Pretty In Pink without the love triangle - I had a pleasant time watching it. The script was good, the performances were fine. Sometimes the camera would linger on Freddie Prinze Jr or Rachael Leigh Cook and I wouldn't be exactly sure what their characters were supposed to be thinking? Does that mean the acting is bad or the directing...or both? Emily explained that one of the reasons the movie is successful is because - like the Twilight books and movies - the protagonist girl is a blank slate that girls can project themselves onto?
I'm going to pin the blame on the director- the film was full of clunky, pedestrian, or cliche camera moves. When the guys are making their bet and looking for a dorky enough girl to wager on, I thought to myself "when they spot Laney she's going to drop all her art supplies in the hallway, or stumble through a doorway and BINGO I guess I win the bet.
Matthew Lillard was great as the vain douchbag star of The Real World. It's kind of bizarre that Prinze's second-fiddle wingman is Paul Walker? Prinze is supposed to be the dreamboat jock prom king, but he's a skinny pencilneck geek compared to the broad-shouldered, tan and handsome Walker. It would have made a lot more sense if they'd switched roles? As for the adults, Kevin Pollak brings some life to his scenes- he clearly made up all his jokes, but you don't hire Kevin Pollak to just read his lines, right? There's barely two other adult speaking roles- Tim Matheson is playing his character from Animal House 20 years later, and there's exactly ONE schoolteacher in the whole movie, and zero scenes inside classrooms (except Laney's art studio).
It reminded me of watching Pulp Fiction in 1994 and wondering if any police were ever going to show up (they never do) - just because the characters are high schoolers at school, doesn't mean anything important happens in class.
NOTE: Anna Paquin is terrific casting as Prinze's sister, but I wonder if she whispers through all her roles? Do they have to use extra-sensitive microphones to capture her dialog?