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Overall Rating
3.19

Awesome: 26.14%
Worth A Look: 25%
Average: 18.18%
Pretty Bad: 3.41%
Total Crap27.27%

3 reviews, 70 user ratings


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Not Another Teen Movie
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by Erik Childress

"A Target Worth Skewering...And It's Funny"
4 stars

Movie parodies have seemingly been around forever. Mel Brooks made them famous in the 70s with Blazing Saddles and the Zucker/Abrahams group took them to the next level in the 80s with Airplane, Top Secret and The Naked Gun. However, we have suffered through a number of horrendous parodies over the years, Spy Hard and the later works of one Mel Brooks to name a few. The Wayans Bros. seemingly resurrected the parody in 2000 with Scary Movie and then nearly killed it again with Scary Movie 2 in 2001. While the Scary Movies were essentially parodies of a satire, it surprises me how many criticize the recent string of this genre as tackling subjects not worthy of parody. Robin Hood and Dracula howbeit, but I challenge anyone to debate that the “teen movie” is not a worthy target. Not only is it deserving, but the first attempt is actually quite funny.

If you are between the ages of 12-40, chances are you’ve not only seen a number of these teen movies, but just may have grown up with them. The 80s were the era of John Hughes and the Brat Pack and today, television shows about the teenage experience are more frequent than each successive Freddie Prinze Jr. film. OK, so it’s quite a step down, but it only makes the genre more of a bullseye. Tragedy + Time = Comedy. Time + Cinematic Repetition Taken Too Seriously = Parody.

With any film parody, knowledge of the material (plots, dialogue, scenes, characters) is your best friend. One of the great pleasures of Not Another Teen Movie is deconstructing the clever way they’ve managed to connect many of the familiar character types of the movies we know and love (or occasionally hate).

Janey Briggs (Chyler Leigh) is that “pretty ugly girl” with the glasses and the ponytail who lives on the wrong side of the tracks (or just a really dilapidated house) with her drunken, unemployed father (Randy Quaid). Meanwhile, popular jock Jake Wyler (Chris Evans) has just been dumped by his bitchy cheerleader girlfriend, Priscilla (Jaime Pressly) and ends up making a bet that he can turn Janey into the prom queen with both his friends (“token black guy” Deon Richmond and “cocky blonde guy” Eric Christian Olsen) and his hot-to-trot sister Catherine (Mia Kirshner) whose just dying to get him into the sack.

Meanwhile, Janey’s brother Mitch (Cody McMains) makes a pact to lose his virginity by the Prom along with his friends, Ox (Sam Huntington) and Bruce (Samm Levine), who walks around acting as if he’s Japanese. Not to mention Janey’s best friend, Ricky (Eric Jungmann) is obsessed with her and will do anything, including stalking her and writing teary-eyed poems in class to make her notice him. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Bad parodies tend to stray from the subject at hand, just to include a takeoff of another recent classic scene. Not Another Teen Movie sticks with its subject matter and gives it a good twice over. While the clothesline plot structure sticks mainly to She’s All That, the five credited writers manage to hang on even more references than many will overlook to catch. In my notes, I counted at least one reference, obscure or otherwise to the following titles (American Pie, Bring It On, Can’t Hardly Wait, Cruel Intentions, Sixteen Candles, 10 Things I Hate About You, Varsity Blues, Pretty In Pink, The Breakfast Club, Never Been Kissed, Jawbreaker, Porky’s, Risky Business, Rudy, Lucas, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Almost Famous, Back to the Future, American Beauty, Election and Grease). Good or bad, it’s quite an impressive list.

What filmmakers must go through to get the rights to music could be a film satire in and of itself. It’s cheaper to go out and get nobodys to record new versions of the old songs. (Not unlike Hollywood studios hiring first-time directors cheap to churn out the work of hack screenwriters.) While many of the songs in the film are just covers, a few do actually sneak through and generate a memory lane smile. After all, music has been essential to these teen flicks to set the mood, sell soundtracks and replace dialogue to define human emotion. It’s too bad they couldn’t get the rights to the original works of Modern English, Simple Minds and Orchestral Maneuvers In the Dark (after all, couldn’t they use a check?) They could have even taken them and switched them around and played them at the most inopportune time. How about “(Don’t You) Forget About Me” during a Prom deflowering?

Teen Movie is not without its share of bad jokes and takes a little while to develop its rhythm. But by the time what is probably the final “spray the characters in crap” joke of 2001 is behind us, the good outweighs the bad. Surprisingly, it’s the younger actors who get to outshine what should be the polished professionals. Its nice to see Paul Gleason reprise his infamous Richard Vernon role from The Breakfast Club, but Randy Quaid fails to produce a single genuine laugh as Janey’s father and Ed Lauter doesn’t nearly take flight as Jon Voight’s successor to the belligerent football coach role.

Whoever had final say in casting the teens though deserves some kind of special Oscar. Chyler Leigh and Chris Evans do nice work as the leads and are clearly comfortable with the ridiculous material. But how about Sam Huntington doing a dead-on take of Chris Klein, looks and all. Eric Christian Olsen gets similar kudos in the Paul Walker characterization and Party of Five co-star Lacey Chabert actually looks just like Jennifer Love Hewitt in her first moment on screen. Jaime Pressly and Mia Kirshner are standouts bringing the perfect amount of spice to their roles while Deon Richmond (The Cosby Show’s “Bud”), Samm Levine (TV’s “Freaks & Geeks”) and Ron Lester (playing virtually the same character he did in “Varsity Blues”) all have fun in their respective roles.

And I had a lot of fun with Not Another Teen Movie as well. The filmmaker’s have clearly done their homework and while I’m sure I could have pointed them in the direction of at least another half dozen of parody-worthy material, it’s certainly a respectable enough job. For every one and a half good jokes, there’s a bad one, yet when its funny, its more often than not, very funny. (I nearly lost it during the introduction of the “slow clap.”) Not Another Teen Movie succeeds not just because it delivers the funny, but knows why its funny with a mixture of nostalgia and common cinematic knowledge, instead of just going for the simple sex joke-and-poop bullseye with every dart. Sometimes it hits the right bullseye, occasionally it misses the board, but it racks up enough comedy points to hit the target score first. Sometimes that’s just as important.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=5489&reviewer=198
originally posted: 12/14/01 11:05:26
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User Comments

12/08/11 mr.mike A Classic 5 stars
10/13/09 art ACTUALLLY THIS IS A HUNDRED TIME"S BETTER than SHE"S ALL THAT! 3 stars
8/23/09 anonymous i think it was really funny! but it was really unusual eg.she snogged a nanny ? 5 stars
1/13/09 Anonymous. stupid and sometimes funny. 3 stars
10/31/08 Shaun Wallner This movie was stupid! 1 stars
9/25/07 Dark Enchantress funy movie from start to finish! 5 stars
7/02/07 johnnyfog I laughed when Mr. T showed up. That's about it. 1 stars
4/28/07 Dark Enchantress really funny...better than the scary movies! 5 stars
10/24/05 J-money Excellent and funny 5 stars
4/17/05 Jeff Anderson Very funny & surprisingly witty at times. MIA KIRSHNER IS SMOKING HOT & TRULY, TRULY ROCKS! 4 stars
1/31/05 New Jersey Rules Terrible, only morons will enjoy this garbage. 1 stars
1/10/05 Feliciano Cinematography, acting and even direction is awesome!!!! 5 stars
12/23/04 Vince Good fun, recommended! 4 stars
12/07/04 Jason Kaul Strange, the lesbian kiss was really HOT! Look for the easteregg of the outtakes on the DVD 4 stars
11/22/04 Allie it was ok 3 stars
11/01/04 jordan this movie is so funny 5 stars
10/23/04 Carly this movie is the funniest eva and is not for old farts they have no sense of humour 5 stars
8/29/04 Dan Hillarious satire mercilessly bashes pretentious teen movies. Underrated Classic 5 stars
8/03/04 Anthony G :D 5 stars
7/26/04 bullit16 THIS is what passes for funny nowadays? Can I give it zero stars? 1 stars
2/09/04 Whatevr The epitome of all awful teen movies. 1 stars
12/14/03 chris this movie kicks ass and screw any one who says different 5 stars
11/03/03 sean Unfunny parts and laughs scattered evenly. At times anticlimatic. 3 stars
9/18/03 Samuel Justus The Breakfast Club Spoof was funny, but the rest was shit! 2 stars
9/03/03 here a good film 4 stars
9/02/03 Dawn Movies mocking the stupid need wit, not more idiocy. 1 stars
7/30/03 Alex Better than the Average 4 stars
7/20/03 amy This film was very funny for sleepovers 4 stars
6/28/03 Dan_A Come on. It was SUPPOSED to be stupid. 4 stars
6/04/03 mee funny 5 stars
1/05/03 Uncle Salty Absolutely brilliant, a sweet release from the prepackaged teen horseshit out there. 5 stars
12/17/02 cinkcool hahahahahha 5 stars
10/27/02 Matt Neopalitano Good therapy for the "real" teenybopper flicks. 3 stars
8/27/02 snowconehead Why do people rate movies with absolutely no standard expectations? 4 stars
6/24/02 Del Pretty funny and the most tits I have seen in a movie in a long time 4 stars
6/22/02 Jake Worst F#$%@*^ movie! Not ANOTHER teenager, more like! Some think Freddy got F, was bad? 1 stars
6/22/02 Prabha Hirntopul Best of cast is girl who takes humongous dump - why no more of her??? 3 stars
5/19/02 Chowie scary movie was funnier, but the jock guy was hot 4 stars
5/16/02 Monday Morning "Scary Movie" was better? JESUS H. CHRIST, kill us now. 1 stars
5/11/02 Butterbean I love stupid parodies,but I only laughed once during this one. Rent Scary Movie II instead 1 stars
5/10/02 spyguy2 Thank God it was loaded with hot chicks or it would have nothing going for it. Mediocre. 2 stars
4/06/02 Dom Corleone Pretty funny 5 stars
4/06/02 spacecowboy expect little and you will not be dissapointed. 4 stars
4/04/02 Film Dude Very surprised. Actually had a couple of good laughs. 4 stars
3/27/02 Chris ¿¡ Although some of the movie is pretty funny, it's to bad some of the jokes fall flat. 3 stars
2/20/02 Prabha Hirntopul Best of cast is girl who takes humongous dump - why no more of her??? 3 stars
2/10/02 Cat THIS MOVIE SUCKED! WHAT MORE CAN I SAY? 1 stars
1/17/02 Jeff Lee I thought it was hilarious, Make more of these types of movies 5 stars
1/16/02 The Boy In The Designer Bubble I may die alone and single, but at least I didn't have anything to do with making this shit 1 stars
1/12/02 hd very very stupid its not even funny and there trying to copy scarie movie 1 stars
1/12/02 Dink Swab well it sux ya dink hard core!! 1 stars
1/10/02 EK Whats up, the movie was realy good, does anyone have the song where they sing about theprom 5 stars
1/04/02 Crunchyfrog I saw this movie at the theater 3 stars
1/02/02 Robert Halarious, laughed all the way threw it.. 5 stars
12/29/01 @?? i dont know why everyone is bashing this movie, honestly, i thought it was pretty funny!! 4 stars
12/26/01 The Freshmaker A friend of mine asked me to see this movie with her. She's no longer my friend 1 stars
12/23/01 Andrew Carden Quite Funny, Beats The Heck Out Of The Crude and Unfunny Scary Movie. 4 stars
12/21/01 Johnny Walker I was surprised. It was funnier than some of those dumb orginals it satirimanizes 4 stars
12/19/01 brent young somewhat funny... worth 5 bucks if you're bored 3 stars
12/18/01 Good Chung I love teen movies but still enjoyed this nasty, yet oddly likable, spoof. Perfectly cast 5 stars
12/18/01 Rebecca The ox guy (Sam huntington) who made fun of Chris Klien saved this movie!hes hilarious! 5 stars
12/18/01 Visions of It's sad when a satire has the perfect target and they end up blowing it. 2 stars
12/18/01 boner movie sucked, but I would love to fuck the girls in the movie. 1 stars
12/18/01 Rampage not even worth a freaking matinee... pure crap 1 stars
12/17/01 Joe Deblow Not another boring movie 1 stars
12/15/01 NT Chris Evans as Jock Jake Wyler is awesome! 4 stars
12/14/01 P Riddy LOL! 5 stars
12/14/01 truckgirl Had me laughing out loud 5 stars
12/14/01 King of the Bros well I thought it was fucking sweet. 5 stars
12/13/01 john linton roberson I call it crap, and it makes me very irritated. 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  14-Dec-2001 (R)
  DVD: 26-Jul-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  21-Mar-2002




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