Not Another Teen Movie

Teen movies today are mockeries of themselves, so Not Another Teen Movie, which is a spoof on teen movies, is essentially redundant. It is less a movie than a series of crude jokes, which only make sense if somebody saw the movie the joke is making fun of. Never Been Kissed, Bring It On, American Pie, Cruel Intentions, American Beauty, She's All That, Varsity Blues, Almost Famous, and 10 Things I Hate About You, are only some of the newer films referenced. Not Another Teen Movie also includes many references to classic 80's teen movies like Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, and Pretty in Pink, and the teens attend John Hughes High School. Various plots from each film are haphazardly strung together and each character has both a name and a title to keep people from forgetting who they are. So people like The Pretty Ugly Girl, The Popular Jock, The Token Black Guy, The Stupid Fat Guy, and every other familiar teen archetype abounds. If they were hollow in their source movies, they are even more so here.

The main story revolves around Janey Briggs (Chyler Leigh, Kickboxing Academy), the smart, badly dressed girl who looks ugly but really is pretty. Jake Wyler (Chris Evans), the popular football player, has a bet where he has to take her to the prom. Along the way, Janey's goodness will turn Jake into a better person. This mirrors the She's All That story as well as nearly every high school romance movie ever made. Jake's sister Catherine (Mia Kirshner, Cowboys and Angels, The Innocents) is a raging incest fanatic, and his ex-girlfriend Priscilla (Jamie Pressly, Joe Dirt, Tomcats) is insanely jealous of Janey. Meanwhile, Janey's brother Mitch (Cody McMains, Thomas and the Magic Railroad, Bring It On) makes a pact with his friends that he will lose his virginity by the end of the year. The story flips back and forth between these and a number of other main characters, usually with just enough time to get one gag in before moving on.

As previously mentioned, there is not enough of a story holding everything together. There are a few funny moments, but most of the humor leans toward the crude instead of funny. Not Another Teen Movie also has a tendency to tell a joke, then keep going with it, although it is not funny anymore (case in point: an amusing take on Janey's name and an Aerosmith song that goes on too long). It makes sense that there is no cohesion to the plot, since there are five credited writers, Mike Bender (Gigantic), Adam Jay Epstein, Andrew Jacobson, and Phil Beauman and Buddy Johnson (Scary Movie 2, Scary Movie). Each presumably did his own segment, then director Joel Gallen threw them all together into the resulting jumble. One gag appears after the credits begin, since it probably didn't fit anywhere else in the movie. There are so many parodies that anybody who hasn't seen some of the films will feel confused. Moreover, most of the older references will fly over the heads of the intended audience of this film, who were probably born about the time the movies were originally released. Not Another Teen Movie is not another teen movie, it is just bits and parts of lots of other teen movies.

Haro Rates It: Pretty Bad
1 hour, 29 minutes, Rated R for strong crude sexual content and humor, language and some drug content.

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