on February 25, 2003
"No, not Janey Briggs! She's got glasses! And a ponytail! And she's wearing paint-covered overalls! Ugh! "
- jock Jake, on the "ugly pretty girl".
"Not Another Teen Movie " is a deeply split film. And that is reflected by the reviews. Some hate it, some love it. Me, I quite like it, oddly.
I actually found it interesting enough to listen to both of two commentary tracks, one from producer/director, and one from the cast. And this revealed what causes the twin personality of the film. Apparently when the director got offered the original script, he did not like it at all, because it was all one big gross-out joke with no story. So he turned it down. But they really wanted him, and so he asked them that a writer he knows could work over the script.
And it got worked over so thoroughly that the finished film apparently basically only has one scene that was in the original script. And it happens that this scene is also the one that clearly is the big gratuitous gross-out scene in the film. It is doubtlessly a scene that many modern teens will find hilarious. And very tellingly, it is also a scene that neither director/producor or the cast like at all! They would clearly rather have been without it at all, but kept it for box-office reasons. (What scene it is? Let us just say that it involves a toilet and hundreds of liters of chocolate sirup!)
Also interestingly, the original script only had parody of films from the nineties. But the producers wanted to give it more breadth and more heart, and to include lots of story from famous eighties teen movies, like Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, etc. (They even have Molly Ringwald appear in the end.)
One of the best things it has is female lead Chyler Leigh. Here is a prediction: she is going to be big, you read it here first. Chyler is very pretty indeed, and she is an excellent actor, and even an excellent dancer, as can be seen on the DVD extras. She has a gorgeous smile, and she can also be very funny, as is seen for instance in the opening scene where she is caught by her family with a vibrator in her bed. The faces she pull trying to tone down her ecstasy are priceless.
Another good thing is of course the "object of lust" as she herself puts it, the "generic foreign exchange student", Areola, who is never dressed. She is unfortunately only in the film a couple of times, and briefly. I guess because the nudity is "gratuitous". Can somebody tell me why, when you put nice landscapes in a film (example: the beautiful Straight Story by David Lynch) it is not gratuitous, but if you put a beautiful nude person in, it is?
They all clearly worked very hard on this film, and I think it does show. It is often crude, but it is also sometimes very funny indeed. And it has some very nice girls. I would quite like to have seen the film as it would have been if they had not needed the contemporary teen audience for box office. But even so, if you are not adverse to a teen comedy, I recommend it.
"Do you think I sleep with every guy who writes me a letter? No! I give them hand jobs." - Amanda Becker, the Unattainable Dream Girl
on May 5, 2002
Not Another Teen Movie is, of course, a parody of many teen movies. The actors and actresses are :
Chyler Leigh as Janey Briggs (the pretty ugly girl)
Chris Evans as Jake Wyler (the popular jock)
Jaime Pressly as Priscilla (the nasty cheerleader)
Eric Christian Olsen as Austin (the cocky blonde guy
Mia Kirshner as Catherine (the cruelest girl)
Deon Richmond as Malik (the token black guy)
Eric Jungmann as Ricky (the obsessed best friend)
Ron Lester as Reggie Ray (the stupid fat guy)
Cody McMains as Mitch Briggs (the desperate virgin)
Sam Huntington as Ox (the sensitive guy)
Lacey Chabert as Amanda Becker (the perfect girl)
Cerina Vincent as Areola (the foreign exchange student)
Samm Levine as Bruce (the wannabe)
Beverly Polcyn as Sadie (the undercover reporter)
Riley Smith as Les (the beatiful weirdo)
The storyline (similar to She's All That) is about a girl Janey, who becomes the object of a bet. Jake thinks he can turn her into prom queen while his friends don't. This movie is wickedly hilarious. The jokes will only make sense if you have seen Bring It On, She's All That, American Pie, Cruel Intenions, American Beauty, Can't Hardly Wait, The Breakfast Club, and countless others. It is easily as good as scary movie, if not better. The dvd has a lot of extras and is a special edition. If you like scary movie one or two, teen comedies, or just parodies in general, then you'll love Not Another Teen Movie.
on July 12, 2004
I happen to be a humongous fan of parodies, and when I saw this I almost died laughing. If you didn't like this you're either A. Way too uptight and cannot take a joke about your favorite movies or B. you don't like jokes about sex, diarrhea, vibrators, or parted subtitles. If you did like this I highly recommend Scary Movie and MAD magazine. I'm outtie!
on September 5, 2002
The beginning of this movie shines as a most daring over-the-top send-up of the high school flick genre. The daring reaches its zany peak with the collapsing potty parody. Then it's rather downhill from there. Perhaps that's in part because what's being spoofed is already so preposterous that the spoof can't melodramatize it much farther. Still, I believe it could have done better. The ending was lame and uninspired. If one wanted to make a case that Molly Ringwald is washed up as an actress, one could find lots of support for that in her cliched ranting in her cameo toward the end.
on January 17, 2004
Ah. Teen movies.
Having attended high school in early 1980s America, I always was amazed by the teen-movie genre, particularly John Hughes' Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club, cute-but-angst-ridden comedy-dramas starring Molly Ringwald (who makes a cameo in this movie) and dealing with the social and love lives (or lack thereof) of teenagers. I somehow never got around to seeing some of the raunchier teen movies (American Pie, She's All That) that Not Another Teen Movie spoofs, but nevertheless, even some of the classier Hughes' directed-or-produced flicks had at least some of the elements targeted by this Airplane!-styled parody.
In every teen movie I have seen there do exist such archetypes as "The Obsessed Best Friend," "The Stupid Fat Guy," "The Popular Jock," "The Token Black Guy," "The Desperate Virgin" (perhaps the one archetype most guys in high school can relate to), "The Perfect Girl," ad infinitum and ad nauseam, and when such a trend of repetition appears (as it does in all genres), it becomes a ripe target for broad parody shots.
The plot is a blend of Cruel Intentions and She's All That, with elements of almost every recent teen movie tossed in for good measure. There is a slight central story revolving around a bet (can a "Pretty Ugly Girl" be transformed into the Prom Queen?), but there are many little vignettes tossed in by the five screenwriters involved. (Like all things written by committee, Not Another Teen Movie has a certain hit-and-miss quality to it, but the gags are often very funny, raunchy -- does that "Foreign Exchange Student" ever catch a cold from walking around nekkid all the time? -- and even dead-on!)
The 2002 Columbia/TriStar Home Entertainment DVD comes loaded with extras that make this movie more enjoyable. I particularly liked the Teen Movie Factoids track and the Test Your Teen Movie I.Q. test (I don't watch many of these puppies, so I didn't do so well...d'oh!)
As for the movie itself, while it's not quite in the same level as Blazing Saddles or Young Frankenstein, I did find it enjoyable and funny. In that, director Joel Gallen achieved his goal, and it made a quiet Saturday afternoon more mirthful.
(24 fans, take note: "The Cruelest Girl" in Not Another Teen Movie was played by Mia Kirshner, who is better known as the cold and deadly Mandy on Fox's 24)
on October 31, 2003
Not all movies are designed to be timeless classics. Some movies are just designed to make you laugh, think or make you look twice. This is a movie that can make you laugh if you have the right mindset going in. A movie designed for parody or satire is designed to make you laugh. Some people want every movie to be on Golden Pond or Tombstone.
Just like if you attend a concert not caring for the music style being played, you will not enjoy it; so it is with this movie. Sit down, free your mind and just enjoy the gags. There are scenes that are exceptionally funny and some that I was less enthused about, but all in all I simply enjoyed the laughs and even some of the gross humor. You have stereotyped teen movie characters that are absaloute parodies of the genre but easily identified with the movie being parodied. Scenes that are just totally turned on their ear for laughs and moments that are just simply enjoyable. The movie does lose steam at the end but by then, if you enjoy gross parodies, you will be tired from laughing and are ready for the end of the movie.
I say enjoy the show
Speaking as a long-time fan of teen movies, I was quite impressed by the scope and quality of this motion picture. I don't generally go for gross-out humor, but this film takes a slightly higher road than, say, Scary Movie, actually striving to encapsulate all of the bits and pieces of years of other movies into a coherent plot. Sure, there are a few aspects of real raunchiness included here, with two scenes in particular being pretty disgusting, but the movie never sunk to the level of becoming distasteful to my eyes. I also have to admire the verve with which the filmmakers went about their tasks; if you are going to do a full-fledged parody, I say don't hold back, and Not Another Teen Movie does not hold back at all, especially in terms of the language. This movie is brash and unafraid, and that is a real factor in its success.
I was amazed by the vast number of movies that found themselves ridiculed and incorporated into this film; I was expecting send-ups of teen comedies from the past ten years, but this movie draws heavily from a number of classic 80s films and even snatches a few things from 1970 classics such as Grease. Even a number of films I wouldn't consider teen movies (but which do feature teens) are pulled into this satirical universe - e.g., American Beauty. This could almost be a weakness because today's teens may be unfamiliar with a lot of the parodies involved in this production; having come of age in the 80s, I easily spotted the references to classics such as Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, etc., but I wonder how many of today's teens pick up on little things such as the name of the high school (John Hughes High), understand the origins of a character such as Ricky, or see the significance of the prom dress Janey Briggs wears. Of course, the most obvious nod to 80s teen movies comes in the form of Molly Ringwald's unusual cameo appearance and the impressive homage to The Breakfast Club, which I admit left me feeling a little older than I would like to be. I think it is safe to say that those unfamiliar with teen movies of the last twenty years will get little enjoyment out of Not Another Teen Movie; you have to know the source of the parodies in order to really "get" them, and the mere task of trying to count the number of different movie reference can be a source of amusement in and of itself.
The DVD comes loaded with extras. If you have only a limited knowledge of teen movies, you may want to start by taking the Teen Movie I.Q. Quiz; if you score less than 50% on the quiz, you would do well to bone up on your teen movie knowledge before taking the step of actually watching Not Another Teen Movie. The list of additional special features, I must say, is legion: commentaries by both filmmakers and cast, 18 deleted scenes including the original ending, three behind-the-scenes featurettes, cast promos, an illuminating yearbook montage featuring the class of John Hughes High, a collection of cast member auditions, movie trailers, Meet the Cast promos, and a track of teen movie factoids. But wait, there's even more. First-time feature film director Joel Gallen's first short film is thrown into the mix, alongside a Behind the Video look at the unrated version of Marilyn Manson's Tainted Love video. If you think the likes of Mia Kirshner, Chyler Leigh, and Jaime Pressly are hot in the movie (and I don't know how you could think otherwise), you really want to see this video.
on August 23, 2003
But there's some other good stuff here as well. When a genre reaches its saturation point, nothing takes the piss out of it like a good satire, and "Not Another Teen Movie" fits that bill quite nicely. Since teen movies are notorious for taking themselves way too seriously, it was inevitable that a movie was going to come along to do for the genre what "Airplane" did for disaster movies and "The Naked Gun" did for cop flicks. Such a movie could every easily wind up being every bit as stupid as the targets it mocks, but fortunately "Not Another Teen Movie" is far funnier and more intelligent than it has any right to be. Although it takes its plot loosely from the miserable "She's All That," "Not Another Teen Movie" takes aim at virtually every overheated teen dramedy to hit it big in the past two decades or so. Every few seconds, there's some inspired gag that slices and dices the more ridiculous elements of such movies as "American Pie," "The Breakfast Club," and "Varsity Blues." The movie trots out every stock character possible, and deflates every pretentious genre cliché in the book. There's the pack of horny teens, the slow-motion entrances, the big high-school party, the geek in love with the beautiful girl, and of course the above-mentioned token black guy (who absolutely owns the movie in his limited screen time). Even the gross-out gags are way funnier than they should be, because it's obvious that they're entirely tongue-in-cheek. It also doesn't hurt that the cast includes two of the hottest women alive in Chyler Leigh and Mia Kirshner (not even to mention Jaime Pressley), or that Molly Ringwald and That Guy Who Played The Principal In "The Breakfast Club" are brought back for way-funny cameos. And while I don't really know what exactly Mr. T was doing here, his appearance is still quite humorous. The movie does lose a few points for having the horrible excuse for a band known as Good Charlotte playing at the high school prom, but it's not enough to bring it down. If you're not above laughing at some admittedly sophomoric stuff, you should check this one out.
on July 21, 2003
With the barrage of truly tasteless, awful and thoroughly uninspiring teen movies that have flooded the market over the past two decades, it was only a matter of time before someone came up with the ultimate send off, slap-in-the-face spoof that would put the competition to shame. And here is that movie, aptly titled, "Not Another Teen Movie". From the onset we are treated to snippets and one liners that blatently criticize the teen market of mindless fluff. Everything from "Pretty in Pink" to "Never Been Kissed" gets the ax and the chops are mercilessly funny. Plot: threadbare at best, involves an ugly duckling who (no kidding) is transformed into a swan and wins the heart of the best looking guy in the school. Stop me if you've heard this one before. But plot is not what this movie is about. Ripping into the past is and this film makes an understandible mockery of everything that has gone before it, wisely excluding John Hughes' "The Breakfast Club" from its assault.
TRANSFER WISE: Columbia's given us a fairly solid transfer with bold, saturated colors, good fine detail, solid blacks and excellent contrast levels. Though edge enhancement is apparent in several scenes and shimmering does come and go, pixelization is not present for a pretty smooth looking visual presentation. The audio is 5.1 and nicely spread across all the channels.
EXTRAS: Deleted scenes (most adding nothing to the film), audio commentary, making-of featurettes and a music video. Well done.
BOTTOM LINE: "Not Another Teen Movie" is gross-out comedy and, while I'm generally not in favor of shock value substituted for genuinely funny material, in this case - it works to illustrate just how bad all the other teen flicks have been that have gone before. This is one funny send up to bad comedy!
on June 27, 2003
This film to me is so godawful that you can't help but be entertained by it based on that merit alone. I've seen many teen comedies and spoofs, and it appears from looking at the overall average customer review for this film, many seem to applaud it a bit more than many other films of this caliber, including some of the films that this movie pokes fun at. I may be a party of one, or one of a short few that doesn't seem to agree with the apparent consensus, but I'll get to my reasons why later.
First off, it's obvious that this movie is one gigantic spoof that pokes fun at many teen films such as Can't Hardly Wait, She's All That, Varsity Blues and a ton of others, not to mention some rather vulgar shots at Broadway. If you've seen any or all of the aforementioned films, you'll be able to catch onto the humorous jabs. However, if you haven't seen any of the dozens of films that are being referenced here, you'll come away feeling like this film was one ridiculous, sloppy, corny, nonsensical waste.
However, what keeps me from enjoying this on a higher level is that while the jabs were obviously meant to be stupid and corny, the overall dialogue seems to be missing some kind of character, and the humor just seems very flat and insipid. Out of the entire movie, there were literally only one or two moments where I bust out laughing, while the other laughs seemed more like sarcastic and strained snickering. Perhaps it would have been a bit more to my liking if they cut a little bit more brutally into the jugular, like the Scary Movie series did, and while some may have cringed due to the ridiculously excessive amount of crude vulgarity found in the Scary Movie series, that trademark alone gave that series a bit of backbone, bite and character which couldn't be ignored. Here, none of that seems to be present, and the effort comes across like a weak rehash of past spoofs that leave much more to be desired. I suppose that youngsters who have had strict upbringing, and weren't permitted to watch obscene movies would bust a gut laughing if they saw this for the first time.
And perhaps, this is where all of the ironies are uncovered. The film is so silly, stupid, corny and overblown that you really CAN'T help but be charmed and entertained by it somewhat. While all of my dissatisfactions are listed above, I'd be lying if I said I didn't have somewhat ambivalent feelings, as I enjoyed it as sheer entertainment, but nothing more. Of course, this may have been what the writers were trying to aim for exactly - getting an ambivalent reaction out of viewers. Of course, this may have been the original tendency of the spoof genre in general. My rating for this is 2.5 stars, as I enjoy other comedies and spoofs more than this one (not to mention that I actually enjoy some of the movies they made fun of - She's All That, Can't Hardly Wait and Varsity Blues - better than this.) You may have a different reaction to this than I did, so give it a shot. It's entertaining to say the least.