Published Feb 01, 2000When a film has a first-time director at the helm, and his previous work includes producing the MTV Music Awards, Victoria's Secret Fashion Show and the Jenny McCarthy Show, then there really isn't much hope that he's going to churn out something witty. Not Another Teen Movie reflects Joel Gallen's resume perfectly, acting more like a music video than a feature-length, and moviegoers who aren't teenagers that consume MTV for six hours a day are not going to enjoy this film, or at least they shouldn't.
The running joke that wears terribly thin is that all teen movies share a common plot and have the same characters. This may be true for the garbage that's been spewing out of Hollywood in recent years and it's these films that are targeted the most. Sure, there are a few jokes from John Hughes classics such as The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller's Day Off, but the majority of the audience that this film targets is not going to get the references. It's films like She's All That and Can't Hardly Wait, with the half-assed plots that the MTV generation of today can relate to, which are satirised. The problem is that those films don't have quite enough substance to begin with to be deemed worthy of mimicking, thus making Not Another Teen Movie relevant today but easily forgettable for the future.
With the exception of wasted talent from actors such as Mia Kirschner (who sadly goes from Exotica to Hollywood fluff) and Samm Levine (Freaks and Geeks), the cast is comprised of mainly no-name actors with very little ability. Playing such roles as "the pretty ugly girl" and "the cocky blonde guy," these pawns really have no other role in the film but to spit out clichés, and they take on no life beyond that of the stereotypes that have been set for them. One of the great things about the old teen films from the '80s was that there really was a plot and character development, and there wasn't a gross-out or unnecessary slapstick scene every ten minutes. In this case, the film tries to cram in every single reference to every single teen film made in the last 20 years. Although it's hard not to laugh at a few scenes in this film, there truly is no long-lasting substance to Not Another Teen Movie. Yes, we get the joke: modern teen films are stupid, have no plot, have gratuitous sex scenes and are pretty much all the same including this one.