11 Surprising Facts About She’s All That

Miramax
Miramax

The late 1990s saw a resurgence of teen romantic comedies, like 10 Things I Hate About You, Can’t Hardly Wait, and 1999’s She’s All That. The movie opened Super Bowl weekend and was the number one movie at the box office. It went on to gross $103,166,989 worldwide and even today still ranks as the ninth highest-grossing teen romance film (the films in the Twilight series occupy the top five spots on that list).

Freddie Prinze Jr. starred as Zack, a high schooler who makes a bet with Dean (Paul Walker) that he will groom the nerdy Laney (Rachael Leigh Cook) into a prom queen. A modern adaptation of Pygmalion and My Fair Lady, the film launched Prinze’s leading man career, and also featured early performances from Kieran Culkin, Gabrielle Union, Usher, and rapper Lil’ Kim. The soundtrack played an important part in the movie, too: Sixpence None the Richer’s “Kiss Me” and Fatboy Slim’s “The Rockafeller Skank” propelled She’s All That into iconic territory. Here are 12 surprising facts about the movie to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

1. M. Night Shyamalan did an uncredited rewrite of the script.

In 2013, M. Night Shyamalan told Movies.com that he “ghost-wrote the movie,” though the credit solely went to R. Lee Fleming Jr., who stated Shyamalan lied about writing the script. But former Miramax employee Jack Lechner confirmed Shyamalan’s involvement. “He did a solid rewrite,” Lechner told Entertainment Weekly. “He made it deeper, made the characters richer. I can see how Fleming would say it’s his movie, and I can see why M. Night would say it’s his movie. They’re both right.”

One of Shyamalan’s contributions to the rewrite was the ending graduation scene. “He came up with an idea of when he was in high school, somebody streaked across their campus at graduation, which I thought was fun but I didn’t know quite how to do that given the constraints of our rating and also the time that I had to do it,” She’s All That director Robert Iscove told Cosmopolitan. “That’s why I did the graduation with Freddie just getting up and tossing the soccer ball to her.”

2. Personality was the most important thing the filmmakers were looking for in casting Laney.

Besides Rachael Leigh Cook, the producers considered Leelee Sobieski, Mena Suvari, and Jordana Brewster for Laney. “She had to be beautiful, self-deprecating, funny, withdrawn, and all that,” Iscove told The Daily Beast about the role. Yet looks weren’t the only thing that mattered. “Times have changed a lot in Hollywood, but back when we did the movie, it was very much the Hollywood standard [to cast] a beautiful girl,” Iscove told Cosmopolitan. “It was going to be our Clark Kent moment. You’re never going to get the ugly duckling to really transform … certainly [not] back then. [So] it was more the quality of the actor that we wanted to go for, someone who could have the range from being very standoffish and cerebral and in her head, and then open up and be warmer and interact with the people and be more than, ‘How beautiful.’”

3. The film was released on the anniversary of Freddie Prinze's death.

Prinze's famous actor-comedian dad, Freddie Prinze, committed suicide on January 28, 1977 (he was pulled off life support the next day), when Prinze Jr. was just 10 months old. The movie came out on January 29, 1999—22 years after the tragedy. Because of the anniversary, Prinze wasn't feeling up to attending the premiere.

“I had crazy visions like something bad was going to happen. But I got there and everyone seemed to enjoy it,” he told The Daily Beast. “I’ve only seen the film once and it was in that weird frame of mind, so I’ve never really gotten the opportunity to properly appreciate it."

4. It helped make "Kiss Me" a worldwide hit.

Sixpence None the Richer recorded the song “Kiss Me” in 1997 for their eponymous album and released it as an official single in 1998. When the song was used in the film, it peaked at number two on the Billboard charts and remained in the top 10 for 16 straight weeks. In 1999, the song was ubiquitous; it also appeared on Dawson’s Creek a couple of times. As lead singer Leigh Nash told Pop Entertainment, a man from Columbia Records came to a showcase they did in L.A. and heard them play “Kiss Me.” “He knew it was the single and I imagine had heard it before, but he thought it would be perfect for a summer movie. Actually, it wasn’t a summer movie, it came out in the end of January, I think. But, he was right. It definitely was a hit with the young folks.”

5. Kieran Culkin didn't know why he was wearing hearing aids.

Kieran Culkin’s character, Simon, wore hearing aids in the movie, which seemed arbitrary to the actor. “It’s one of those movies that always seems to be on—and I only know that because friends are always telling me, and then they’ll ask, ‘Why did you have hearing aids?’ and I’ll be like, ‘I don’t f***ing know!’” he told The Daily Beast.

6. The "Hoover" scene was added to appeal to young male moviegoers.

Two bullies try to mess with Simon (Culkin) by putting pubic hairs on a piece of pizza, but Zack intervenes and forces the guys to “hoover” their own creation. Though the pubic hairs were made of corn stalks, the studio bosses wanted to keep the PG-13 rating. “There were hours of conversations about, ‘Well, how many corn stalks do we put on the pizza? Has he torn out all of his pubes, or only a couple of pubes?’ But now it’s one of those great, groan-worthy moments,” Iscove told The Daily Beast.

Iscove explained to Cosmo that the scene was intended to cater to men, who don’t typically like going to see romantic comedies. “So in order for them not to veto it, a certain amount of hot girls and a certain amount of gross-out [were necessary], which is why Laney starts at the beginning hocking the loogie, which is a little bit disgusting—but guys are immediately with her and with the movie. And the pube stuff keeps them going so that they can get to the romance later on. We were careful to tread that line."

7. Prinze and Dulé Hill tap danced together.

Dulé Hill wasn’t allowed to tap dance during the prom scene, but he would tap dance on set. “When we were shooting the volleyball sequence at the beach, I heard him sliding and tapping his feet on the wood, and I said, ‘Are you tap dancing?’ And he said, ‘I’m a hoofer, man.’ And that’s how we bonded,” Prinze Jr. told The Daily Beast. “We started going to this dance studio in Hollywood and we’d tap dance. We did it all the time. Eventually, I turned a room in my house into a tap dance studio and we’d put on rap music, tap dance, and drink scotch until like 4 in the morning.” The two friends reunited on Hill’s show Psych in 2010 when Prinze made a guest appearance.

8. Jodi Lynn O'Keefe had a major crush on Paul Walker.

In an interview with Cosmopolitan, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe admitted she had a crush on Paul Walker. “I was like, ‘What is that beautiful human being?’ I think we all felt that way, like, we all walked onto the set and it was like, ‘Who is this Adonis?’ He was a doll baby, that’s what I called him. He was just one of the sweetest men I’d ever met. It’s terrible when anyone passes too soon. I remember it knocked the breath out of me. I felt really heartbroken for his daughter, because that was what we talked about the most when we were at work, we talked about his daughter, and it just felt so tragic and wrong, so early in his life.”

9. Prinze trained with a professional Hacky sack player.

In one of the film’s most memorable scenes, Prinze performs hacky sack at a performance art show, in front of Laney. “I can’t hacky sack like the way you saw that sequence cut together—I have five, six reps in me tops,” Prinze told The Daily Beast. “I had to have an earpiece in my ear that kept this weird, modern art, crappy beat in my head, and do the hacky sack, and even if it fell, I had to continue the sequence: ‘Never let it drop … don’t let it drop … sooner or later, it has to drop.’ To prepare for the scene, the producers brought in a world-class hacky sack player to help Prinze keep the rhythm going, “and in five minutes he had me going from six in a row to 12 in a row,” Prinze said.

10. Lil' Kim was the most extravagant cast member.

When they filmed the movie, the rapper was already famous—but Iscove didn’t realize it until near the end of the shoot. “I thought, ‘Thank God I didn’t know about this before,’ because I only knew her as this sweet young thing that she was presenting in the film,” he told The Daily Beast. Prinze was aware of her status, though. “This movie cost us $6 million to make,” Prinze told The Daily Beast. “It was not a big budget film. Lil’ Kim showed up in a stretch limousine to the set and was wearing almost our budget in diamond earrings, rings, necklaces, sunglasses, high-heeled shoes with diamonds on top. I remember thinking, ‘This girl’s got like $3.5 million on her right now!’ And that’s how she came to the set every day. I remember thinking, ‘I wish I had some rap talent!’”

11. A remake could be happening.

For several years, there's been talk of a She's All That remake. In April 2015, The Wrap reported that Tonya Lewis Lee (Spike Lee’s wife) had plans on producing a remake, with Kenny Leon directing. But Iscove doesn’t think a remake makes sense.

“It’s so quintessential ’90s, so hopefully if they’re going to do it, they’re going to make it whatever a 2016 version is,” he told Cosmopolitan (in 2015). “But if you’re going to do that, why not just do Pygmalion in high school, why do She’s All That? She’s All That was of the time. It’s like, I could remake Pretty in Pink or Sixteen Candles, but unless I’m going to use it of that period and of that time with those people, why call it Pretty in Pink? It’s not going to be Molly Ringwald. She’s All That is not going to be Freddie and Rachael. I wish them well. I hope they make it a contemporary version.”

Because the film was based on Pygmalion, Cook looks at the idea of a remake a different way, though.

"I think that [a remake] would be neat," Cook told International Business Times in 2018. "I think it would be a heck of a lot easier than being spoofed, which has already happened to us." (That spoof she's referring to, of course, is 2001's Not Another Teen Movie, which skewered She's All That and a handful of other beloved teen films.)

An earlier version of this article ran in 2016.

Amazon's Best Cyber Monday Deals on Tablets, Wireless Headphones, Kitchen Appliances, and More

Amazon
Amazon

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Cyber Monday has arrived, and with it comes some amazing deals. This sale is the one to watch if you are looking to get low prices on the latest Echo Dot, Fire Tablet, video games, Instant Pots, or 4K TVs. Even if you already took advantage of sales during Black Friday or Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday still has plenty to offer, especially on Amazon. We've compiled some the best deals out there on tech, computers, and kitchen appliances so you don't have to waste your time browsing.

Computers and tablets

Amazon

- Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet 64GB; $120 (save $70)

- Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet 64GB; $84 (save $35)

- HP Pavilion x360 14 Convertible 2-in-1 Laptop; $646 (save $114)

- HP Pavilion Desktop, 10th Gen Intel Core i3-10100 Processor; $469 (save $81)

- Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop; $973 (save $177)

Headphones and speakers

Beats/Amazon

- Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones; $200 (save $100)

- Sony Bluetooth Noise-Canceling Wireless Headphones; $278 (save $72)

- JBL LIVE Wireless Headphones; $100 (save $30)

- JBL Charge 4 - Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker; $120 (save $10)

- Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker II; $79 (save $50)

- Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones; $200 (save $50)

Video Games

Sony

- Watch Dogs Legion; $30 (save $30)

- Marvel's Avengers; $27 (save $33)

- Ghost of Tsushima; $40 (save $20)

- The Last of Us Part II; $30 (save $30)

TECH, GADGETS, AND TVS

Samsung/Amazon

- Amazon Fire TV Stick; $30 (save $20)

- Echo Show 8; $65 (save $65)

- Nixplay Digital Picture Frame; $115 (save $65)

- eufy Smart Doorbell; $90 (save $30)

- Samsung 75-Inch Class Crystal 4K Smart TV; $898 (save $300)

home and Kitchen

Ninja/Amazon

- T-fal 17-Piece Cookware Set; $124 (save $56)

- Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Curved Round Chef's Oven; $180 (save $136)

- Ninja Foodi 10-in-1 Convection Toaster Oven; $195 (save $105)

- Roborock E4 Robot Vacuum Cleaner; $189 (save $111)

- Instant Pot Max Pressure Cooker 9 in 1; $80 (save $120)

- Shark IZ362H Cordless Anti-Allergen Lightweight Stick Vacuum; $170 (save $110)

Sign Up Today: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews, and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping newsletter!

12 Spirited Facts About How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Warner Home Video
Warner Home Video

Each year, millions of Americans welcome the holiday season by tuning into their favorite TV specials. For most people, this includes at least one viewing of the 1966 animated classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Adapted from Dr. Seuss’s equally famous children’s book by legendary animator Chuck Jones, How the Grinch Stole Christmas first aired more than 50 years ago, on December 18, 1966. Here are 12 facts about the TV special that will surely make your heart grow three sizes this holiday season.

1. Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel And Chuck Jones previously worked together on Army training videos.

During World War II, Geisel joined the United States Army Air Forces and served as commander of the Animation Department for the First Motion Picture Unit, a unit tasked with creating various training and pro-war propaganda films. It was here that Geisel soon found himself working closely with Chuck Jones on an instructional cartoon called Private Snafu. Originally classified as for-military-personnel-only, Private Snafu featured a bumbling protagonist who helped illustrate the dos and don’ts of Army safety and security protocols.

2. It was because of their previous working relationship that Ted Geisel agreed to hand over the rights to The Grinch to Chuck Jones.

After several unpleasant encounters in relation to his previous film work—including the removal of his name from credits and instances of pirated redistribution—Geisel became notoriously “anti-Hollywood.” Because of this, he was reluctant to sell the rights to How the Grinch Stole Christmas. However, when Jones personally approached him about making an adaptation, Geisel relented, knowing he could trust Jones and his vision.

3. Even with Ted Geisel’s approval, the special almost didn’t happen.

By Al Ravenna, World Telegram staff photographer - Library of Congress. New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection. Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Whereas today’s studios and production companies provide funding for projects of interest, television specials of the past, like A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, had to rely on company sponsorship in order to get made. While A Charlie Brown Christmas found its financier in the form of Coca-Cola, How the Grinch Stole Christmas struggled to find a benefactor. With storyboards in hand, Jones pitched the story to more than two dozen potential sponsors—breakfast foods, candy companies, and the like—all without any luck. Down to the wire, Jones finally found his sponsor in an unlikely source: the Foundation for Commercial Banks. “I thought that was very odd, because one of the great lines in there is that the Grinch says, ‘Perhaps Christmas doesn’t come from a store,’” Jones said of the surprise endorsement. “I never thought of a banker endorsing that kind of a line. But they overlooked it, so we went ahead and made the picture.”

4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas had a massive budget.

Coming in at over $300,000, or $2.2 million in today’s dollars, the special’s budget was unheard of at the time for a 26-minute cartoon adaptation. For comparison’s sake, A Charlie Brown Christmas’s budget was reported as $96,000, or roughly $722,000 today (and this was after production had gone $20,000 over the original budget).

5. Ted Geisel wrote the song lyrics for the special.

No one had a way with words quite like Dr. Seuss, so Jones felt that Geisel should provide the lyrics to the songs featured in How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

6. Fans requested translations of the “Fahoo Foraze” song.

True to his persona’s tongue-twisting trickery, Geisel mimicked sounds of classical Latin in his nonsensical lyrics. After the special aired, viewers wrote to the network requesting translations of the song as they were convinced that the lyrics were, in fact, real Latin phrases.

7. Thurl Ravenscroft didn’t receive credit for his singing of “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch.”

The famous voice actor and singer, best known for providing the voice of Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger, wasn’t recognized for his work in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Because of this, most viewers wrongly assumed that the narrator of the special, Boris Karloff, also sang the piece in question. Upset by this oversight, Geisel personally apologized to Ravenscroft and vowed to make amends. Geisel went on to pen a letter, urging all the major columnists that he knew to help him rectify the mistake by issuing a notice of correction in their publications.

8. Chuck Jones had to find ways to fill out the 26-minute time slot.

Because reading the book out loud only takes about 12 minutes, Jones was faced with the challenge of extending the story. For this, he turned to Max the dog. “That whole center section where Max is tied up to the sleigh, and goes down through the mountainside, and has all those problems getting down there, was good comic business as it turns out,” Jones explained in TNT’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas special, which is a special feature on the movie’s DVD. “But it was all added; it was not part of the book.” Jones would go on to name Max as his favorite character from the special, as he felt that he directly represented the audience.

9. The Grinch’s green coloring was inspired by a rental car.

Warner Home Video

In the original book, the Grinch is illustrated as black and white, with hints of pink and red. Rumor has it that Jones was inspired to give the Grinch his iconic coloring after he rented a car that was painted an ugly shade of green.

10. Ted Geisel thought the Grinch looked like Chuck Jones.

When Geisel first saw Jones’s drawings of the Grinch, he exclaimed, “That doesn’t look like the Grinch, that looks like you!” Jones’s response, according to TNT’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas Special: “Well, it happens.”

11. At one point, the special received a “censored” edit.

Over the years, How the Grinch Stole Christmas has been edited in order to shorten its running time (in order to allow for more commercials). However, one edit—which ran for several years—censored the line “You’re a rotter, Mr. Grinch” from the song “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” Additionally, the shot in which the Grinch smiles creepily just before approaching the bed filled with young Whos was deemed inappropriate for certain networks and was removed.

12. The special’s success led to both a prequel and a crossover special.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Given the popularity of the Christmas special, two more Grinch tales were produced: Halloween is Grinch Night and The Grinch Grinches The Cat in the Hat. Airing on October 29, 1977, Halloween is Grinch Night tells the story of the Grinch making his way down to Whoville to scare all the Whos on Halloween. In The Grinch Grinches The Cat in the Hat, which aired on May 20, 1982, the Grinch finds himself wanting to renew his mean spirit by picking on the Cat in the Hat. Unlike the original, neither special was deemed a classic. But this is not to say they weren’t well-received; in fact, both went on to win Emmy Awards.