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|Not Another Teen Movie|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Joel Gallen|
|Music by||Theodore Shapiro|
|Edited by||Steven Welch|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Releasing|
(unrated director's cut)
|Box office||$66.5 million|
Not Another Teen Movie is a 2001 American parody film directed by Joel Gallen and written by Mike Bender, Adam Jay Epstein, Andrew Jacobson, Phil Beauman, and Buddy Johnson. It features an ensemble cast including Chyler Leigh, Chris Evans, Jaime Pressly, Eric Christian Olsen, Eric Jungmann, Mia Kirshner, Deon Richmond, Cody McMains, Sam Huntington, Samm Levine, Cerina Vincent, Ron Lester, Randy Quaid, Lacey Chabert, Riley Smith and Samaire Armstrong.
Released on December 14, 2001 by Columbia Pictures, the film is a parody of teen movies. While the general plot is based on She's All That as well as Varsity Blues, 10 Things I Hate About You, Can't Hardly Wait and Pretty in Pink, the film is also filled with allusions to teenage and college-age films from the 1980s and 1990s, such as Bring It On, American Pie, Cruel Intentions, American Beauty, Never Been Kissed, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Can't Buy Me Love, Jawbreaker, Sixteen Candles, Dazed and Confused, Lucas, Rudy, The Breakfast Club, Grease, and Road Trip.
In the stereotypical high school community of John Hughes High in Southern California, attractive Priscilla (Jaime Pressly), a popular cheerleader, separates from her talented football star but slacker boyfriend, Jake Wyler (Chris Evans). After Jake discovers that Priscilla is now dating timid and weird Les (Riley Smith) just to spite him, one of Jake's friends, Austin (Eric Christian Olsen), makes a bet with him to turn Janey Briggs (Chyler Leigh), a "uniquely rebellious girl," into the prom queen.
Jake attempts to court Janey's love, but faces adversity from his own sister, Catherine (Mia Kirshner), who is sexually attracted to him; Janey's unnoticed admirer and best friend, Ricky Lipman (Eric Jungmann); and memories from his past football career. Catherine eventually assists her brother by "drastically" altering Janey's appearance (which is simply removing her glasses and ponytail), instantly making her drop-dead gorgeous.
Meanwhile, Janey's younger brother, Mitch (Cody McMains), and his friends Ox (Sam Huntington) and Bruce (Samm Levine), make a pact to lose their virginity by graduation despite still being in their freshman year. Mitch tries to impress his longtime crush, the beautiful yet perverted Amanda Becker (Lacey Chabert) with a love letter. Bruce says that he does not have a chance with her, mockingly stating, "Keep dreaming!"
As the prom draws near, Jake draws infamy among his peers after he fails to lead his football team to victory at the state championship game the year before. The situation is further worsened when Austin tricks Jake into telling Janey about his bet to spite Priscilla by pretending to whisper the secret bet in Janey's ear, causing her to immediately leave Jake in anger. During prom night, Austin and Janey go together; a jealous Jake and Catherine have a dance-off with Austin and Janey, with Catherine dancing in a sexual manner. Janey runs off crying. Meanwhile, Mitch and his friends are having a lousy time at the prom until Amanda arrives and Mitch gives her the letter (to which she responds that she does not have sex with every loser who does such, but will give them handjobs), horny Bruce hooks up with the equally horny international student Areola (Cerina Vincent), and Ox later hooks up with Catherine after sharing a romantic and rather odd connection.
Jake is awarded prom king and the principal (George Wyner) reads out that the votes for prom queen are tied. Everyone thinks that it is between Janey and Priscilla, but they are shocked to find that Kara (Samaire Armstrong) and Sara Fratelli (Nectar Rose), conjoined twins, win prom queen. During the traditional prom king and queen dance, Janey supposedly left with Austin to go to a hotel.
Jake goes to the hotel room where he finds Austin having wild sex with a girl, but is shocked to find that it is Priscilla and not Janey, while Les videotapes them with his pants down. Austin tells Jake that Janey "ran home to her daddy." Jake coldly punches Austin and Priscilla, knocking them unconscious for their part in Janey's humiliation. He then punches Les for "being really weird" (he also punches a plastic bag that happens to be floating next to Les); afterwards he runs to Janey's house only to learn from her father that she is going to Paris for art school.
Jake arrives at the airport and confronts her before she can board the plane, but uses a plethora of clichéd lines from other films (such as She's All That, Cruel Intentions, American Pie, The Breakfast Club, American Beauty, 10 Things I Hate About You, Can't Hardly Wait, and Pretty in Pink) to convince her to stay home in America. His final (and only original) speech suggests they would be better off separated, but Janey mistakenly believes he is quoting The Karate Kid, and she decides to stay with him.
In a mid-crs scene, Janey's father Mr. Briggs (Randy Quaid) drunkenly assaults himself with pies in his kitchen. In a post-crs scene, an earlier seen Albino Folk Singer (Joy Gohring), an afroed student with a guitar, reveals that she has become blind and calls out for assistance upon completing her song, while an audience member calls for another to assist in stealing her guitar.
Many stars of teen films, as well as those from the 1980s, make cred and uncred appearances. These include:
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The film opened at third place at the US box office taking $12,615,116 in its opening weekend behind Vanilla Sky's opening weekend and Ocean's Eleven's second weekend. At the end of its run, the film had grossed $38,252,284 domestically and $28,216,048 overseas for a worldwide total of $66,468,332.
The film received generally negative reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a score of 28% based on 96 reviews, with an average rating of 4/10. The site's consensus states: "NATM has some funny moments, but the movie requires the audience to have familiarity with the movies being spoofed and a tolerance for toilet and sexual humor to be truly effective." Metacritic gave the film a score of 32/100 based on reviews from 22 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film two stars out of a possible four, and admitted to laughing a few times but not as much as he did for American Pie or Scary Movie. Ebert also criticized the scatological humor. He urged audiences to not waste their time on the film, when in the month of December 2001 there were "21 other promising films" to choose from.
Robin Rauzi of the Los Angeles Times called it "a 90-minute exercise in redefining the word 'gratuitous'" and suggested it is most likely to appeal to fourteen-year-olds – "who of course [are] not supposed to be seeing this R-rated movie". Dennis Harvey of Variety criticized the film for its "overall tendency to mistake mere bad taste for outrageousness, and plain referentiality for satire" but praised Evans, Pressly, and Olsen for giving performances better than the material. He noted that the film follows the model of Scary Movie but lacked the comic finesse of Anna Faris.
Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle called the film "a crass act" and pointed out the futility of trying to parody films that are already absurd. LaSalle complained that the film too closely copies She's All That, calling it "pathetic" that Not Another Teen Movie is just another formulaic teen movie.
The soundtrack for the film was released by Maverick Records and features metal, punk and rock artists from the 1990s and 2000s, mostly covering new wave songs from the 1980s, as well as "Prom Tonight", an original track and parody of Grease.
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