Film Review: 'Another teen movie,' but this one is likely to succeed

Following the Wayans brothers’ “”Scary Movie,”” an example of comedy spoofs on tried-and-true film genres, “”Not Another Teen Movie”” attempts to satirize the ever-popular teen movie.

“”Not Another Teen Movie”” follows the life of “”the pretty-ugly girl,”” Janey Briggs (Chyler Leigh), as she slowly wins the heart of “”the popular jock,”” Jake Wyler (Chris Evans), after he bets “”the cocky blonde guy”” and “”the token black guy”” that he can turn her into the prom queen. Is this starting to sound familiar?

Following the “”She’s All That”” formula, “”Teen Movie”” manages to imitate every teenage film from “”Sixteen Candles”” to “”Pretty in Pink”” to “”Bring it On.”” The problem with trying to encompass so many movies is that it fails to flow and sometimes becomes hard to follow, especially if you haven’t seen the movies it tries to mock.

Director Joel Gallen’s first feature-length film, “”Not Another Teen Movie”” failes to be a movie that he “”was able to shape … into a story and really develop.”” But it does succeed, however, at being purely entertaining. Prior to “”Not Another Teen Movie,”” Gallen had mostly directed short films and produced concerts. His inexperience at directing full-length films can be seen in scenes that are more appropriate for television rather than movies.

The very young cast of newcomers, however, proved to be quite successful, despite the bad writing. In leading roles, Leigh and Chris perform as well as can be expected for a film of this genre. Both show the same amount of talent you’d expect from more “”seasoned”” actors like Freddie Prinze, Jr. or Rachel Leigh Cook.

The one person who nearly steals the show and shines in his perfectly casted role as Ricky (a take-off on the obsessive Ducky from “”Pretty in Pink””) is Eric Jungmann. Jungmann plays the obsessive and overly flamboyant best friend who is in love with Janey.

The equally energetic Jungmann said, “”[Ricky is] so head-over-heels, and you can just see it in everything that he does — and in ‘Not Another Teen Movie,’ it’s satirical.””

As Leigh said, “”It was very alive [on the set]. Obviously being young and an actor is a lot more difficult in my eyes … but we had a lot of fun with it.””

This overall excitement and energy from the cast can be felt in every scene, as well as within the great soundtrack, which includes music from other teen movies such as “”Pretty in Pink.””

Although at times it’s hard to watch due to gross visual gags and overly exaggerated comedy, it does provide an hour-and-a-half of mindless laughs. Humorous cameos by Paul Gleason, Molly Ringwald and Mr. T also make it more appealing, but they aren’t enough to salvage the rest of the movie.

Not Another Teen Movie


Starring Chyler Leigh, Chris

Evans and Eric Jungmann

In theaters Dec. 14

Rated R