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Not Another Teen Movie (2001)

Sex Academy

The Teen Mother Of All Movies!

Directed by:

Joel Gallen

Rating: 4/10

Running Time: 89 minutes

US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

Country: United States

How do you take the piss out of movies that are already meant as piss-takes? How do you poke fun at something that’s already done the poking? How do you spoof a spoof? If ‘Not Another Teen Movie’ is anything to go by, the answer to all of the above is: with great difficulty.

Trying to make us laugh takes secondary importance to frantic attempts to squeeze in as many references to other flicks as possible, as this ill-advised High School romp rattles through its checklist of generic staples at an alarming rate of knots. So, with intentional levels of predictability, we get the jock (Chris Evans) who undertakes a bet to transform the requisite nerd (Chyler Leigh) into a Prom Queen, unwittingly growing mushy over her in the process. There’s also The Nasty Cheerleader (Jaime Pressly), The Obsessed Best Friend (Eric Jungmann), The Weirdo (Riley Smith), The Foreign Exchange Student (Cerina Vincent) and The Token Black Guy (Deon Richmond).

As you’ve probably already worked out, it’s all very knowing – but a send-up, by its very nature, surely needs to be smarter that the subject it’s attempting to send-up. The fact that the numerous films it references – your American Pies, your Ferris Buellers, you Breakfast Clubs, your Road Trips – are all better, funnier, more intelligent (yes, really!) and already fairly aware of their own generic barriers only serves to make this entire project completely pointless.

Sure, I’ll happily admit that I laughed out-loud on a couple of occasions during this one. I particularly loved the running gag about the obviously-beautiful Chyler Leigh being universally regarded a hound purely because “she’s got GLASSES and A PONYTAIL!” The cast are all game for a laugh and no movie featuring the wonderful Lacey Chabert could ever be considered a complete write-off – but I couldn’t help but wonder if the worryingly-large team of FIVE writers really wanted to make a comedy, or simply provide the world with a particularly elaborate and time-consuming list of their own favourite movies.

It's Got: Paul Gleason reprising his demon headmaster role from ‘The Breakfast Club’.

It Needs: To concentrate less on the name-dropping and more on the gags.

DVD Extras A choice commentary from either the film-makers or the cast, three ‘School’s In Session’ featurettes, 16 deleted scenes, a look at the making of Marilyn Manson’s ‘Tainted Love’ video, a ‘Yearbook’ stills montage, and a trailer. All in all, it’s a pretty solid package which is actually better than the movie itself. Version reviewed: Not Another Teen Movie (Special Edition) DVD Extras Rating: 7/10

Alternatives:

10 Things I Hate About You, American Pie, Bring It On, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Road Trip, She's All That, The Breakfast Club

Summary

Let’s hope there’s not another one.

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