For me, She’s All That marks the start of my adolescence. It was 1999, the first 12 certificate I sneaked into at the cinema (back before they were 12As) – the days when Freddie Prinze, Jr. was everyone’s go-to screen jock and the Rockafeller Skank dominated dance floors (or, in my case, school discos).
And as I’ve aged, it’s aged. We no longer wear crop tops, body glitter and butterfly clips, Sixpence None the Richer haven’t had a top ten hit in seventeen years and Freddie is pushing forty. We’re getting older, but thanks to the internet, nostalgia is a powerful currency and precious little makes me look back more fondly than the teenage video collection gathering dust in the back of my wardrobe. Alongside She’s All That sits such cultural gems as Never Been Kissed and Bring It On and together they made up my teenage bible – albeit one of cheerleaders, letterman jackets and prom kings and queens.
So, the news this week that Harvey Weinstein (he of Oscar movie-making magic) is teaming up with Miramax to develop a new version leaves me a little bewildered. Is Hollywood sapped of all creativity? With reboots, remakes and re-workings coming out of their ears, must studio execs mess with one of my favourites? Christ, it’s only been 16 years since the original.
You see, for me, She’s All That isn’t your average rom-com. It’s zany, packed with self-referential high school quips, painstakingly-coordinated dance routines, baby-faced Paul Walker and Gabrielle Union, and one of the earliest unhinged reality stars. Plus some “super-sized balls”. Oh, and Usher playing the high school DJ, because he really was that young.
Yes, it’s based on the ageless Pygmalion tale – in this case, dorky girl meets high school BNOC, transforms into popular swan – but She’s All That is a child of its time. What exactly is it that Harvey Weinstein & co are hoping to do with it? And could it ever be as good set in a modern-day guise?
My bet is no – and I have no interest in Anna Kendrick and Liam Hemsworth lookalikes conducting a Snapchat romance via their iPhone 6s which is no doubt what this will turn out to be. Get some new ideas, Hollywood, and stop messing with my favourite nineties classics.