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One would almost have to assume that any teen comedy to come out of Miramax Films would be light-years ahead of typical teenage fare. Well, with SHE'S ALL THAT ($30) the assumption proves to be 100% correct. The plot of SHE'S ALL THAT owes a debt to PRETTY WOMAN, which owes a debt to MY FAIR LADY, which was taken from PYGMALION... While the basic story line lacks originality, SHE'S ALL THAT is a winner because the film has appealing characters and a hip nineties style all its own.

SHE'S ALL THAT stars Freddie Prinze Jr. as Zach Siler, the high school class president and star athlete. Zach would seem to have the world in his pocket. However, returning from spring break, Zach is unceremoniously dumped by his girlfriend Taylor Vaughan (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe). It seems that while Zach was off skiing with his family, star struck Taylor hooked up with Brock Hudson (Matthew Lillard), a self absorbed idiot whose only claim to fame is appearing on MTV's REAL WORLD television show. Zach, the future prom king, morns the relationship for all of thirty seconds and boasts that he can turn any girl he dates into the prom queen. Of course, the boast becomes a bet and before he knows it, Zach's friends choose Laney Boggs (Rachael Leigh Cook), a geeky art student as the girl Zach must transform into the prom queen. Unfortunately for Zach, Laney isn't impressed with the big man on campus and he actually has to convince Laney to going out with him. Eventually, Zach does get to spend time with Laney, and as he does, he begins to fall for the girl he thought was only a wager.

SHE'S ALL THAT is a charming and sweet romantic comedy for the teen set that features solid performances from its two stars. Freddie Prinze Jr. makes Zach a very likable individual, even though the character had the potential to come off as jerk for making the bet in the first place. Rachael Leigh Cook is a talented young actress who effectively makes the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly, although her natural beauty is a bit hard to dress down early in the film. The cast of SHE'S ALL THAT also includes Paul Walker, Kieran Culkin, Anna Paquin, Elden Henson, Usher Raymond, Tim Matheson and a rather goofy turn from Kevin Pollak as Laney's father. Also look for Sarah Michelle Gellar in a brief (and silent) cameo.

Miramax Home Entertainment has given SHE'S ALL THAT a nice looking wide screen presentation that sadly lack the 16:9 component. Despite the rather obvious omission, SHE'S ALL THAT looks terrific when played back on a standard 4:3 monitor (sorry 16:9 display owners). The sharp, highly detailed transfer restores the film's 1.85:1 theatrical framing. Color reproduction is excellent on this disc. Flesh tones are very appealing, while the rest of the highly saturated hues are flawlessly recreated without a trace of chroma noise or distortion. Shadow detail is quite good, plus the DVD sports an excellent black level and contrast. Digital compression artifacts remained subdued throughout the presentation. 

The Dolby Digital soundtrack is only 2.0- not the 5.1 channel track specified on the DVD' packaging. Buena Vista is aware of the mistake and will be re-issuing a corrected version of SHE'S ALL THAT at some point in the near future. As it stands, the existing track decodes to standard Dolby Surround and is fairly pleasing, with clean dialogue and good music integration. I am hoping to get a corrected DVD and amend this review to include an opinion about the full Dolby Digital 5.1 channel track. Subtitles are available on the DVD in English. The interactive menus are pretty basic, but supply the requisite scene selection and set up features. A music video for the song KISS ME by Sixpence None The Richer is the DVD's only supplement.

SHE'S ALL THAT is a delightful romantic comedy that deserves to be seen. However, if you want to own a copy of the DVD, wait until the corrected discs hit the market.




DVD reviews are Copyright 1999 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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