I fancy myself something of a film snob. I like foreign films exploring the meaning of life, bizzare independent films, and political documentaries. I use past awards and respected film critics as a guide to what to watch in the future. I haven’t seen last year’s esoteric The Tree of Life, but it’s next in line in our Netflix queue. Generally, I avoid movies heavy on action and special effects, and light on character, plot, and meaning.
So I can’t for the friggin’ life of me figure out why I keep experiencing this weird urge to rent and re-watch She’s All That, the 1999 romantic comedy starring Freddy Prinze Jr. and Rachael leigh Cook.
Click on it. I know you wanna.
The movie’s signature song, Kiss Me, above, has me by the balls. Tight. I listened to it three times while writing this. I could be walking through a department store or restaurant–or wherever!–and if that song comes on, I stop, tilt my head up and to the right just a little, and stare up into the grand nothingness, swept away to 1999, when the unattractive, unpopular, socially awkward artist, Laney Boggs, falls for Zack, the school jock, and he for her.
If you were walking along with me, you might grab my arm and try to shake me from my trance. “Mike, Mike. Hey! Wake up, what the hell’s wrong with you? You’re drooling like a rabid squirrel.”
Somewhere along the way (it has been a few years since I watched the magic), she gets a makeover that uncovers this stunning beauty. Wow, that scene: Laney walks slowly down the stairs in that red dress and Zack is looking up at her thinking “Whoa, I’m definitely gonna hit that tonight.” I always cry right there.
Rotten Tomatoes, one of the sites I use to determine the worth of a movie, gives She’s All That a 39% approval rating. Horrible. It has a 5.5 on IMDB. Pa-freakin-thetic. If it was coming out this week and Jennifer said “Hey, let’s go see that new She’s All There movie,” first, I would laugh and set her straight on the title. (Her constant flubbing of movie and song titles is a never-ending source of amusement.) Then after five minutes of research, I’d say “There’s no way I’m spending $30 to see that piece of garbage movie. Let’s stay home and watch Wild Strawberries on Netflix.
Then in 2015, I’d walk in on the girls watching it on TBS or some lame channel that plays commercials during movies. I’d sit on the couch and be sucked into the cool, rich essence of the most under-appreciated film ever released. I’d say “Damn Jennifer, why didn’t we go see this on the big screen back when it came out?”
If anyone out there owns a copy of this movie, let’s have a discussion about FedEx SameDay. I want to be watching it tonight. Get in touch asap.