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Laramie Movie Scope:
She's All That

My Fair Lady redux

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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February 8, 1999 -- "She's All That," has surprising substance to it for what one might reasonably expect to be a lightweight comedy.

The Pygmalion-based story of manipulative high school teens is predictable, but it has some clever treatments similar to "Clueless." The dialogue is good and there are some interesting characters, who appear to be thinking with their brains as well as their glands, a refreshing change from most movies of this genre.

Freddie Prinze Jr. stars as Zachary 'Zack' Siler, a high school hunk who has it all, the best-looking girl in school, Taylor Vaughan (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe of "Halloween, H20"), high grades, and he's a star athlete, too. After Vaughan dumps him he bets a friend that he can turn any girl in school into a prom queen. His project is the dowdy Laney Boggs, (Rachael Leigh Cook of "Living Out Loud").

Of course, it turns out that with the help of some snappy clothing and a team of Hollywood makeup artists, Boggs is beautiful. But Boggs is not overwhelmed by all this attention from the school hunk. She is suspicious. She nevertheless becomes friends with Siler, who falls in love with her and becomes a better man. She becomes a better woman. Then, of course, there's the scene where she finds out about the bet and that throws things into a tizzy for a while.

There are a few twists in the plot, but it is pretty standard stuff. The movie is aided by good performances by Prinze and Cook, as well as by Kevin Pollak ("The Usual Suspects"), who plays Wayne Boggs, a guy who doesn't know the answers to "Jeopardy" but knows about the workings of the heart. This film rates a C+.

Click here for links to places to buy this movie in video and/or DVD format, the soundtrack, books, even used videos, games and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 1999 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]