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Movie Review

It's a classic case of "jock has cheerleader, jock loses cheerleader, jock's friends bet he can't turn awkward introvert into prom queen, jock falls for introvert, introvert gets makeover and comes out of shell, cheerleader gets jealous, suddenly-popular former introvert realizes she's part of a bet, jock must convince her his feelings are genuine, and smitten former introvert forgives jock." Then they kiss.

Those and other high school hijinks get screen time in She's All That , a comedy teens made a top box-office draw. It examines how young people can be paralyzed by peer pressure, parental expectations, the world's problems and having to grow up too fast while filling in for an absent parent. All valid issues. Unfortunately, they—as well as the movie's suggestion that students should jettison social stereotypes and start seeing each other as human beings—get lost amid alcohol use, profanity, a preoccupation with sex, and the reinforcement of MTV as this generation's official voice.

Furthermore, it's often hard to tell if She's All That wants to challenge the objectification of women or exploit it (gyrating bikini-clad girls, calling women "b--ches," etc.). Parents will take umbrage at two unflattering father figures (one dad is an idiot, the other a miserable product of corporate ambition). Sure, She's All That delivers its share of social commentary, but it may do more to perpetuate unhealthy myths than liberate young viewers.

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