Worth A Look: 25%
Pretty Bad: 3.41%
Total Crap: 27.27%
3 reviews, 70 user ratings
|Not Another Teen Movie
by Scott Weinberg
If there were ever a sub-genre of movies that was overripe for skewering, the recent spate of generic teen flicks is it. Since most of these films feature the exact same plots, characters and messages, the 'teen flick' certainly lends itself perfectly to satire. While it's far from anything resembling a "good film", Not Another Teen Movie manages to be extremely funny...sometimes.The arrogant jock.
"Gleefully raunchy. Painfully stupid. Pretty damn funny."
The bitchy cheerleader.
The artistic non-comformist.
The horny freshman.
The token black guy.
The insufferable jerk.
The annoying best friend.
The vampy slut.
The stupid fat guy.
If you've seen any of the recent (or classic) teen movies of the past several years, then you're already quite familiar with these sterotypes. When the movie is at its best, Not Another Teen Movie does a fantastic job of deflating these walking cliches and delivers some solid laughs to those audience members familiar with the source material.
The plot in this vulgar and intermittently hilarious spoof is basically meaningless (although it seems to follow most closely to 1999's She's All That). Since the movie tries to reference as many films as possible, it's only logical that the plot is choppy and episodic. (In this respect, no comedy has yet dethroned Airplane! as The Perfect Spoof Movie.)
In an effort to include seemingly every teen flick of the past 5 years, Not Another Teen Movie pokes fun at American Pie, Varsity Blues, She's All That, Cruel Intentions, Jawbreaker, Can't Hardly Wait, Never Been Kissed, 10 Things I Hate About You, Bring It On, Road Trip, Final Destination, etc. Classic teen movies are lampooned as well, including Risky Business, Sixteen Candles, Porky's, The Breakfast Club, Rudy and Pretty in Pink. (Non-teen movies are fair game, as there are also few barbs pointed towards Almost Famous, American Beauty and several others.)
While director Joel Gallen and his five (yes, I said five) screenwriters certainly earn points for their cinematic research skills, the laughs-to-groans ratio is alarmingly high. A handful of truly uproarious sequences are mired among several jokes that simply flop onto the screen and lie there. You'll have to sit through some truly weak material to get to the good stuff here. Fortunately, the best segments are worth waiting for.
On one hand, a film like Not Another Teen Movie is a real treat for movie critics and film freaks, as we're all extremely familiar with the inner workings of the teen flick. On the other hand, film aficionados will probably be turned off by the film's poor pacing and scattershot delivery. I don't know where the rule "spoofs must be cheap and sloppy" got started, but I've grown weary of satires with the production value of a lemonade stand.
One of Not Another Teen Movie's main assets is its colorful cast. With an 'anything for a laugh' attitude and a delightful affinity for spouting the most disturbing vulgarities, this collection of performers deserves most of the congratulations for the funniest bits. Jaime Pressly (Ringmaster) gets the most mileage out of her character, playing the gorgeous and heartless head cheerleader. Sam Huntington (Detroit Rock City) delivers a dead-on impression of Chris Klein and earns some giggles, while the lovely Mia Kirshner (Mad City) does a nice job with a thanklessly ugly role. (She plays the incestuous "cruel" girl.)
One of this film's bigger problems is that it often recedes back into the very mold it's trying to parody. The American Pie series has seemingly already perfected the "bodily fluids" line of gags, so there's no need for the massive explosion of feces that occurs about halfway into this one. A spoof should be confident enough not to emulate the material that it's trying to humiliate.While technically (not to mention artistically) a mess, Not Another Teen Movie manages to provide some solid belly laughs. If you have a high tolerance for unblinking gross-out gags and you love making fun of Freddie Prinze Jr. flicks, odds are you'll have a good time with this one. You paid to see the real movies! And most of those flicks are awful!
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originally posted: 12/18/01 14:31:52