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Not Another Teen Movie Review

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At John Hughes High School, jock Jake Wyler announces that he can turn any girl into a prom queen. Janey, the 'Pretty Ugly Girl' is his target in an assemblage of occasionally hilarious genre jokes.

★★★★★

Spoofs tend to turn up towards the end of the life cycle of the kind of movie they're spoofing - just when the cliches and general genre tiredness have become more than apparent to even the most dim-witted moviegoer.

The arrival of Not Another Teen Movie (originally Ten Things I Hate About Clueless Road Trips When I Can't Hardly Wait To Be Kissed - ho, and indeed, ho) will therefore be welcomed even by those who are thoroughly sick of the excrescence of teenage flicks which has clogged up the very pores of our multiplexes like so much adolescent sebum over the last half decade or so.

But if this is the teen flick's last gasp, it's actually a good deal funnier than anyone has a right to expect. Created by MTV Video Awards producer Joel Gallen, whose approach is not so much scattershot as blunderbuss, there are enough serviceable gags to offset the ones that don't make first base.

Anything with a teenager in it seems to be fair game, from the original '80s cycle right through to American Beauty (although any movie that relies on a detailed knowledge of Varsity Blues is probably limiting its audience somewhat).

The Rachael Leigh Cook character, whose true beauty no-one can see through the camouflage of paint-spattered dungarees and spectacles, or the black guy who kicks another out of a teenage do announcing, "I'm the token black guy at this party," are both worth a mild guffaw, as are cameos by Mr. T and Paul Gleason (of Breakfast Club infamy).

A few gags even threaten to punch above the film's bantam-weight. Take the moment in which a lavatory crashes through a ceiling, spraying the class with an almost endless tsunami of liquid excrement. Rote teen movie gross-out moment or nifty meta-gag about teen movies' need for a rote gross-out moment? You decide.

It’s one of those instantly disposable — and deliberately vile — comedies that may well have you laughing while you’re watching it, but leaves you scratching your head trying to remember exactly why about 20 minutes after it’s finished.

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