Not Another Teen Movie (2001)

Film review: Not Another Teen Movie (2001), directed by Joel Gallen

notanotherteenmovieJaney Briggs (Chyler Leigh) is the nerdy girl with the glasses who hangs out with a dorky friend (Eric Jungmann) who’s not-so-secretly in love with her. Jock Jake Wyler (Chris “Captain America” Evans!) makes a bet with his jock friend Austin (Eric Christian Olsen) to make Janey the prom queen. Bitchy queen bee Priscilla (Jaime Pressly), Jake’s girlfriend, is less impressed, and his sister Catherine (Mia Kirshner) appears to be … jealous?

Meanwhile, Janey’s younger brother Mitch (Cody McMains) and his friends make a pact to get laid by prom night … You may have heard these plots before …

Also starring Deon Richmond as Malik, Sam Huntington as Ox, Lacey Chabert as Amanda Becker, Randy Quaid as Mr Briggs, with special appearances by Paul Gleason as Richard Vernon, Mr T as the Wise Janitor, Molly Ringwald as a Flight Attendant, and Melissa Joan Hart as the Slow Clapper’s instructor.

What happens when you take a number of teen movies, put them all in a blender and make one big teen movie smoothie? This happens. Now, interestingly enough, there are a load of these types of parody films. Some are hilarious, some make you want to poke your eyes out. Not Another Teen Movie is actually pretty good. Surprisingly so.

Not only do they get a cameo from 80s teen film queen Molly Ringwald, they even get Paul Gleason in to play the same part as he did in The Breakfast Club. The libraries look very similar (perhaps even identical?) too, and the scene is pretty much repeated verbatim – with a few additions. Mitch is also dressed up to look like Judd Nelson’s character. It’s a stroke of genius.

There are so many nods at other films that you’re bound to shout “BINGO!” at some point. The Breakfast Club, Never Been Kissed, Cruel Intentions, the American Pie franchise, She’s All That, 10 Things I Hate About You … and those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head. There are probably a lot of mentions of others 80s films as well, but not having seen those – The Breakfast Club aside – I’m not at liberty to say.

The humour isn’t necessarily laugh-out-loud funny, but at least it’s slightly classier and less moronic than, say, Epic/Date/Disaster Movie. This film amused me, those other films didn’t. So, while Not Another Teen Movie on the surface may look like any other parody films of which there are ten to the dozen, it stands out by not sucking balls. And that’s a good thing.

3.7 out of 5 slow claps.

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