Main cast: Chyler Leigh (Janey Briggs), Chris Evans (Jake Wyler), Jaime Pressly (Priscilla), Eric Christian Olsen (Austin), Mia Kirshner (Catherine), Deon Richmond (Malik), Eric Jungmann (Ricky), Ron Lester (Reggie Ray), Cody McMains (Mitch Briggs), Sam Huntington (Ox), JoAnna Garcia (Sandy Sue), Lacey Chabert (Amanda Becker), Samm Levine (Bruce), Cerina Vincent (Areola), and Beverly Polcyn (Sadie)
Director: Joel Gallen
Mocking the pants off teen movies of the 1990s while paying reverent homage to John Hughes teen movies of the 1980s (the school in this movie is called John Hughes High School, in which the stadium is called Harry Dean Stadium and the lunch hall is naturally Anthony Michael Hall) may be too obvious and too easy, but Not Another Teen Movie makes parody and satire fun. It mocks not only at teen movies, it also shoves its middle finger up the collective nostrils of the audience by ditching the pretentious prudity of the movies it lampoons.
For example, the Elizabeth Berkley clone playing the foreign exchange student, Areola, wears nothing while walking around school. Her reason to be here? You have to admire a gal who speaks in bad Russian accent that she’s here to “provide pussy for American nerds and losers” or something to that effect (it’s more graphic that what I’ve paraphrased, trust me).
The plot is a mishmash of every teen movie that has graced the screen in the last ten years. Janey Briggs is the shy, ugly girl (ugly = bespectacled and hair in a ponytail) who is given a makeover by Freddie Prinze Jr clone Chris Evans for a bet (She’s All That). A football player, Jake also face a dilemma ala Summer Catch crossed with Rudy. His sister wants him bad ala Cruel Intentions. Janey’s brother and his friends are infatuated with Jennifer Love Hewitt clone Amanda Becker (can you say Can’t Hardly Wait?). Along the way there’s a very noticeable old woman posing as a schoolgirl (hello, Never Been Kissed – oh good grief, did I watch all those teen movies!) who ends up kissing Catherine, Jake’s sister and a complete clone of Eliza Dushku. Priscilla, Jake’s ex, is so Bring It On.
Everything collides in a gruesome, spectacular mess, predictably, but gosh, what a hoot. Even the grossest toilet humor displays an uncanny sense of wit and irony, it’s like Shakespeare knee-deep in dung singing out a sonnet. Or something.
Incidentally, the West Side Story singalong towards the end is just spastic and dead on. The best? Cameos by Mr T, Paul Gleason, and oh, Molly Ringwald herself. The soundtrack is also a fabulous collection of retro-1980s hits that will be familiar with the John Hughes fanclubs. No, the best is the dead-on thrust into the heart of American Beauty, thanks to a creepy camcorder-totting Wes Bentley lookalike who comes together with a floating plastic bag labelled “The Most Beautiful Thing in the World”. Hilarious!
Yeah, yeah, lowbrow, blah blah blah. But really, if you ask me, this movie’s actually brilliant and dead-on lampooning is nothing short of touche. I don’t care what people say – this movie is dead on, so much more for daring to admit that it’s a shitty movie making fun of shitty movies. Or something. Not Another Teen Movie is just my kinda movie.