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Review: Not Another Teen Movie

Chyler Leigh, Chris Evans and Jaime Pressly star in Joel Gallen's comedy spoof of the teen movie genre. Released on 14 December 2001, Not Another Teen Movie opened at no. 3 in the US box office and went on to gross over $66 million in total.

Overview

Not Another Teen Movie is a parody of films such as She's All That, Pretty in Pink and 10 Things I hate About You. Set in the fictional John Hughes High School, the plot involves a popular football player, Jake, who takes a bet from his friend Austin that he can make the unattractive Janey into the queen of the prom. To win the bet, Jake must overcome the machinations of his sister, Catherine, and Priscilla, a cheerleader. The rest of the characters consist of teen movie stereotypes; from hopeless virgins to aging investigative journalists, they can all be found here.

Positive points

Some of the cast are excellent in their roles. Jaime Pressly, in particular, plays Priscilla for all she's worth, wringing every last drop out of the role. Other highlights include Sam Huntingdon and Mia Kirshner, who nail their respective roles and provide some of the biggest laughs in the process. The film
The film is also genuinely funny in places. There are some truly side-splitting moments to be found; the parody of The Breakfast Club, for instance, will have you in stitches. While some of the scenes are arguably in poor taste, they will still put a smile on the faces of most viewers. The parodies, and scenes which spoof other films, are generally spot on. Grease, Porky's, Sixteen Candles and Risky Business all come in for a skewering, as do more recent films such as Road Trip, Final Destination and Cruel Intentions. The affection that the creators have for these films is obvious and none of the parodies are done spitefully.

Negative points

There is a fine line between parody and plagiarism, and Not Another Teen Movie sails close to it at times. Every single character is just a stock character for this type of teen high school film. This is naturally going to occur when spoofing a genre, but Not Another Teen Movie feels at times like it was initially going to be a wholly original film, until the production team realised how derivative it was. Inconveniences in the movie
It also contains some seriously unfunny moments. It is humourous in places, but the humour is punctuated by long periods where you will sit in stony-faced silence. It's fair to say that on the comedy front, there are more misses than hits. Overall, Not Another Teen Movie is merely an unnecessary addition to an already saturated market.

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