‘He’s All That’ is a teen romance that centers around a budding social media celebrity who begins losing followers following a very public breakup. In a bid to repair the damage, she decides to take on the challenging task of turning her introverted classmate Cameron into the popular and coveted prom king of the upcoming school dance. If this story sounds vaguely familiar, you might just be onto something. Let’s take a look at whether ‘He’s All That’ is based on a true story and how it might be connected to a 1999 film called ‘She’s All That.’
Is He’s All That Based on a True Story?
No, ‘He’s All That’ is not based on a true story. The film, written by R. Lee Fleming Jr., is a work of fiction and takes inspiration from multiple sources, including the 1999 teen romance ‘She’s All That.’ The origin of the basic story of a socially popular and polished person taking on the challenge of turning someone with poor social skills and standing into a luminous and popular personality actually has surprisingly deep roots in history.
The film ‘She’s All That’ is actually based on the hugely popular 1964 musical comedy-drama ‘My Fair Lady,’ which stars Audrey Hepburn and won eight Academy Awards. This critically and commercially acclaimed film was, in turn, based on the 1956 stage musical of the same name, which was further inspired by a 1913 stage play titled ‘Pygmalion’ by George Bernard Shaw.
Drawing from such deep historical roots, the story of ‘He’s All That’ has been suitably updated to fit modern times by the writer, who has based it around the currently popular trends of social media celebrity culture. In fact, the film seemingly draws some real-life inspiration here as the lead character of Padgett is essayed by social media and Tik Tok celebrity Addison Rae. Considering she plays a budding social media celebrity in the film, there is an interesting parallel between the character and the person bringing it to life. Of course, Rae’s real online fan following is significantly larger than that of her character in the film.
Is He’s All That a Sequel to She’s All That?
There is definitely a connection between the two films, but ‘He’s All That’ is not a sequel to ‘She’s All That.’ Instead, it is a remake of the 1999 teen romance movie, with the genders of the central characters being reversed. In the 1999 version, popular high schooler Zackary attempts to makeover the artistic and introverted Laney and make her the prom queen.
In the 2021 ‘He’s All That,’ popular high school social media queen Padgett attempts to similarly turn her introverted photographer classmate Cameron into a popular high schooler and eventually get him to become prom king. In both stories, things don’t go quite as planned, and the wildly opposing central characters end up falling for each other.
Many aspects of the 1999 film have been carried over to its 2021 remake, including some cast and crew members. Rachael Leigh Cook, who essays the central character of Laney in the former, appears as Padgett’s mother in the remake. Matthew Lillard, who takes on the character of Brock Hudson in the 1999 film, steps into the role of Principal Bosch in ‘He’s All That.’ Interestingly, even the writer for both the films is the same — R. Lee Fleming Jr. Lastly, the song ‘Kiss Me’ by the group Sixpence None Richer, after being featured in ‘She’s All That,’ gained widespread recognition and popularity, and also makes an appearance in the finale of ‘He’s All That.’
Read More: Will There be a He’s All That Sequel?