Not Another Teen Movie
Columbia/Tri-Star // R // $27.98 // April 30, 2002
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted May 3, 2002
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The Movie:

While the fact that I'm just out of this film's target audience probably plays a part, I mostly thought that "Not Another Teen Movie" was simply a case of a promising idea not done very well. The Wayans Brothers spoofed the teen horror genre fairly well in "Scary Movie" before the sequel proved that they'd largely run out of ideas. As moderately funny as some of the teen comedies have been, some of the worst are ripe for parody. While there are some funny moments scattered throughout "Not Another Teen Movie", much of the film seems to either be satisfied to recycle the situation from a previous film with new actors or underline jokes too heavily (I half expected subtitles to pop up to remind viewers which films are being spoofed).

There is no plot here, simply a mixture of cliches and other elements from previous teen pictures. The film stars Chyler Leigh as Janey Brigs, an intelligent wallflower who, as the film reveals later in a very funny scene, would be prettier if she simply took her glasses off. The school's star jock (Chris Evans) takes a bet to transform the wallflower into the prom queen ("She's All That"), while her friend really likes her from a distance. There's also references to John Hughes movies, "American Pie", "10 Things I Hate About You", "Can't Hardly Wait", "Cruel Intentions", "Bring It On", "Varsity Blues", "American Beauty" and, in one little moment, "Almost Famous" (Cameron Crowe should sue.)

I appreciated some of the little moments. There is a scene in "Can't Hardly Wait" where the popular girl comes into the party and everyone freezes as she enters. In "Not Another Teen Movie", the popular girl comes into the same room and everyone stops. A character comes in and goes "what's going on?", to which another character responds "we can't talk until she starts moving again". When she does, in the background, someone goes, "it took forever this time!". For me, one of the few very funny scenes in the movie. There's a few other little positives scattered about: Mia Kirshner, an actress who deserves material far better than this, does such as strong take on Sarah Michelle Gellar's sexually agressive "Cruel Intentions" character that I think she could have played the role. A running parody of "Never Been Kissed" is also somewhat amusing.

Still, for every bit that I found worth a chuckle, there are long stretches of jokes that fall very flat. The film doesn't seem to realize that it's not really parodying a whole lot; it's simply redoing scenes from said films and adding more cursing. The film goofs upon the cliques that all high schools have - the only problem is that high school cliques have been parodied, discussed and joked-about for years (and years). The film also gets repetitive with some of its own jokes, while also not realizing that crudness on its own isn't very funny. A really dumb gag, which apparently just didn't fit anywhere else, comes in the end credits. Overall, the saddest thing about it is that most of the movies it parodies - "Cruel Intentions" and "Bring It On" for example, are funnier and more entertaining than this one.


VIDEO: "Not Another Teen Movie" is presented by Columbia/Tristar in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The film does not contain much of a visual style, it actually sort of throws actors into the frame and hopes for the best. Columbia/Tristar's presentation is good enough to make it all sort of shine, though. Sharpness and detail are strong, as the picture appeared consistently well-defined, with no spots of softness.

The picture displayed only a few minor flaws here and there. The picture showed some minor grain here and there, but I'm guessing that the grain was present theatrically. The print seemed otherwise clean, while only trace amounts of edge enhancement and pixelation were noticed. The film's color palette, neither subdued or really that vibrant, is presented well, appearing nicely saturated and without any smearing.

SOUND: The film is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 by Columbia/Tristar. While all teen movies have not used sound in any special way, "Not Another Teen Movie" actually provides semi-decent audio use. The film's pop soundtrack sounds crisp and dynamic, getting decent reinforcement from the rear speakers, which also provide some occasional cartoony sound effects. Dialogue remained clear throughout, as well.

MENUS: While the main menu is the only one that provides animation, the sub-menus are funny parodies of the posters of some teen pictures.


Commentary: This is a commentary from actress Chyler Leigh, actress Jamie Pressley and actors Eric Olsen, Eric Youngmann and Chris Evans. As is the case with most of the actor commentaries that come on the DVDs of these movies (see also "Dude, Where's My Car?" or the classic commentary from the actresses of "The In Crowd"), the commentary is somewhat funnier than the movie itself. The group generally has a good time joking around about the situations in the film, as well as some behind-the-scenes stories. There are even a few moments where the cast discusses what they think doesn't work. It's a nice mixture of entertaining chatter and the occasional interesting comment.

Commentary: This is a commentary from director Joel Gallen and co-writer Mike Bender. The two provide a decent commentary, but are remarkably straight-forward, given the rather slapsticky material. Mainly focusing on working with the cast and pointing out what movies the film is currently spoofing, I thought the cast commentary was lighter and more entertaining.

School's In Session: This area provides three documentaries that last a total of about 27 minutes. Best Dressed is a featurette that provides a look at the tasks that the production and costume designers faced in trying to get the look of the movies parodied right.My Freshman Year is a look at first-time director Joel Gallen's work; the cast members and producer of what seems like every teen film, Neal Moritz, provide chat about how much they liked working with Gallen.Class Clown is a look at the film's practical effects.

Deleted Scenes: No less than 18 deleted scenes are provided. While some were fairly amusing, I agreed with their final destination on the editing room floor (or the DVD, actually). The only one that really should have ended up in the final picture is a funny cross between "Save the Last Dance" and "10 Things I Hate About You".

Music Video: An unedited version of Marilyn Manson's "Tainted Love".

The Yearbook: This featurette is a set of pictures of the cast, both from the movie and real-life, set to music.

Screen Test Montage A 3 1/2 minute set of clips from the cast auditions.

Also: Gallen's strange, disturbing and not particularly funny short film, "Car Ride" (starring Jenny McCarthy); trailers for "Not Another Teen Movie", "The Animal", "New Guy", "Loser", "Big Daddy" and "Saving Silverman"; teen movie trivia game (hosted by Gallen); "Meet the Cast" promos and teen movie facts subtitle track.

Final Thoughts: "Not Another Teen Movie" is a fine idea for a movie, but the timing is off and the jokes really don't find anything to say about the cliches of the genre. Still, for those who enjoyed the movie, Columbia/Tristar has provided a very good DVD, complete with a ridiculous amount of supplements and good audio/video quality.

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