|Trying to count the number of spoofed teen movies in Not Another Teen Movie seems to be the only occupation for viewers of this film because watching it for its entertainment value is surely a fruitless exercise. While there have been a rash of spoofed movies in the past few years (just look at the Scary Movie series), this film really represents a low-point in the genre. If “spoofing” can be considered a genre. It would be hard to label this film a romantic comedy, since the romance really doesn’t kick. And it would be difficult to call this film a teen film since most of the cast is over twenty years old.|
It should be said right off the bat that this film’s value ranks somewhere between the repellant Freddy Got Fingered and the repugnant aforementioned Scary Movie. For some reason, the filmmakers have decided that even a film directed toward an eighteen to twenty-four year old male demographic can be a success without the slightest bit of character development or story. The ten or so spoofed storylines in this film have no real bearing on the plot, and to say that they are confusing is completely off the mark. They are instead, rather boring.
Probably because the characters themselves don’t have a lot of life to them. Or likeability about them. Stars Leigh Chyler (playing a look-alike role ala She’s All That), Chris Evans (playing the jock sent to get her to the prom), Jamie Pressly (playing the evil, vindictive cheerleeder), and Deon Richmond (playing the stock black character) are all over twenty, but don’t have a many intelligent or funny things to say. In point of fact, one of the only entertaining bits in the film comes from a one-liner near the end from Deon’s character. But to be able to highlight only one really funny moment in a film that runs a mercilessly eight-nine minutes will make viewers wish that one funny moment was in the trailer.
It’s known that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and that the director and writers of this film obviously have a love of all teen movies as they try to include moments from teen films stretching in the past a few decades, all the way back to The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles up to current films like American Pie and Never Been Kissed. The filmmakers might win an award for the most spoofs contained in one movie, but it is unclear why they would want to do this, as most teen movies have a tendency to spoof themselves.
Just take American Pie’s slapstick testosterone jokes. That film wasn’t meant to be taken so seriously, and it’s obvious the jokes about high school sexuality were put in there as a spoof on real life teenage antics. But seeing those jokes spoofed in this film just seems like a rehashing of something that was funny before and only copied for this rendition. The jokes aren’t new; they’re just recycled. And they don’t seem all that creative either. (Except the fun poked at She’s All That. Making fun of Freddy Prinze Jr. is fun no matter what day of the year it is)
But in point of fact, it’s not only the jokes in this film that stink. It’s also the cinematography. For some reason the scenes don’t look as though enough footage was shot of the actors. Sometimes a group of characters will be engaged in some type of lame back and forth dialogue and the shot will seem very poorly composed. Like the camera was just set up and the actors placed in front of it to do their lines. The film truly looks like it was done with a video camera by a group of high school students. Which is doubly ironic considering none of the film’s stars are actually teenagers.
Perhaps the collective age of the stars was part of the joke of the film. The effort on character for this film is so weak though that listening and laughing to the poorly copied dialogue from dozens of major teen movies is too much of a trial. Indeed, one of the only truly funny things about this movie was given the boot before the film ever made it to the big screen. During its days in production, this film was known as “Ten Things I Hate About Clueless Road Trips When I Can't Hardly Wait to Be Kissed.” That title alone is worth a good laugh, and it’s really a shame the marketing folks chucked it because it’s the only entertaining idea of the whole film.
Review by Kelsey Wyatt.