Eye For Film >> Movies >> Not Another Teen Movie (2002) Film Review
Not Another Teen Movie
Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray
Teen flicks are too easy to mock. They do it themselves half the time, with the American Pie franchise and Road Trip. The five scriptwriters working on this one can't think of anything funnier than an exploding bog and an errant vibrator.
Sex is the new fad. Everyone kicks it around. There are the virgins, a la Pie, a nymphomaniac sibling, a la Cruel Intentions, a lissom blonde with busty sidekickettes, a la Clueless, and cheerleaders, a la Bring It On. Randy Quaid plays an alcoholic dad and Molly Ringwald a flight attendant. Who is going to be Queen of the Prom occupies the minds of the two leads, Jake Wyler (Chris Evans), the most popular boy in the school, and Janey Briggs (Chyler Leigh), who wears glasses and a pony tail and wants to go to Paris to become an art student.
She's the ugly duckling and he's the jerk who bets he can make her Prom Queen. Of course, when she takes off her specs and lets her hair down, she's gorgeous. There has to be a football sketch (poor) and a naked foreign student sketch (better) and slo-mo girls looking like models on a cat walk. Deon Richmond goes around saying, "I'm the token black man", and when he comes across another at a party, he tells him to get lost. You can't have two token black men.
The humour is slapstick (goofy classmate of Janey, who has a crush on her, is accident prone), or gross (an old woman is given a lesson in French kissing by the Sarah Michelle Gellar lookalike). Mostly, it's on a par with American Pie 2.
The film suffers from the Scary Movie disease. How do you write pastiche of pastiche? Teen movies aren't all bad. 10 Things I Hate About You is a great improvement on something like this, which makes fun of it.
The problem is the director (Joel Gallen) has no idea about creating a style. He throws everything at the screen, preferably faeces, and expects spotty kids to applaud. There is nothing anarchic, or daring here. It's lowest common denominator stuff.Reviewed on: 22 May 2002