Stuffed solid with references to nearly ever teen-related movie made in the last 20 years (including a few I never knew were teen films -- American Beauty and Almost Famous?), Not Another Teen Movie is a headache-inducing, lame-ass ride down memory lane. It's a mystery just who the filmmakers think this movie's target audience is, considering that those of us who grew up in the '80s are most likely not going to get all the '90s teen movie references, and vice versa.
At the center of this disaster is a rip on the plot of She's All That: At suburban John Hughes High School, popular jock Jake Wyler (Chris Evans) is dumped by his bitchy cheerleader girlfriend (Jaime Pressly), and is challenged to turn bookish outcast Janey Briggs (Chyler Leigh) into prom queen by the end of the year. Along the way, we meet the Token Black Guy, the Virgin Geek Squad, The Foreign Exchange Student... you get the picture.
In other words, the movie bludgeons us over the head with every teen movie cliche, but with no witty twist put on them to make them funny. Not Another Teen Movie's got all the satirical sophistication of a porn film movie-takeoff (a la Pump Friction). Judging from the level-10 raunch factor, I'd say there's only one market for this crap: horny teenage boys. Nudity and toilet humor are two things NATM is never short on. But the film is just so bad that even those boys would end up turning down the sound when the film hits home video (in 11 inevitable weeks), in the hopes that another naked chick would wander onscreen (and they wouldn't have to wait long).
Don't get me wrong. I love good raunch as much as the next person, and have gotten big laughs out of everything from Howard Stern to the Farrelly Brothers. But the last time I checked, a movie parody didn't just involve flatly imitating a laundry list of movie conventions while interspersing farts, porn talk, and boobs.
For the rest of us not in the adolescent demographic, be prepared to endure gags about a diarrhea-filled toilet crashing in on a classroom, a slobbering make-out session between an elderly woman and a Sarah Michelle Gellar wannabe, a shell-shocked Vietnam vet (Randy Quaid -- my, how the mighty have fallen) having sex with multiple pies, and jokes about incest, anal sex, scat sex, vibrators, and dildos. And just when you think it can't get any worse, they throw in a urinating pig.
Out of all this garbage, I could find a few glimmers of hope. 1) Paul Gleason making a hilarious return as Principal Vernon from The Breakfast Club. And 2) Molly Ringwald as a jaded and faded teen queen (what a stretch). Otherwise, I'd say this is definitely not just another teen movie; it's just another bad Hollywood idea. Maybe after it tanks, the studios will stop torturing us with all these awful parody films, and put its five screenwriters to death.
Run time: 89 mins
In Theaters: Friday 14th December 2001
Box Office USA: $37.9M
Box Office Worldwide: $66.5M
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures
Production compaines: Columbia Pictures, Original Film, Neal H. Moritz Productions
Contactmusic.com: 1 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 28%
Fresh: 27 Rotten: 69
IMDB: 5.7 / 10
Director: Joel Gallen
Starring: Chyler Leigh as Janey Briggs, Chris Evans as Jake Wyler, Jaime Pressly as Priscilla, Eric Christian Olsen as Austin, Mia Kirshner as Catherine Wyler, Lacey Chabert as Amanda Becker, Cerina Vincent as Areola, Molly Ringwald as Flight Attendant, Samaire Armstrong as Kara Fratelli, Michael Ensign as Father O'Flannagan, Kyle Cease as Slow Clapper, Desi Lydic as Cutie, Jackie Harris as Preston's Mother