Skinny geek Dizzy, gets deliberately expelled so that he can reinvent himself at a new school as the coolest kid on the block
In their attempts to plumb 'grosser-than-thou' depths, too many American teen comedies forget there's more to movie life than a succession of sick routines.
The New Guy gets it partly right, slipping the gags into a proper, if cliched, story and ensuring that the main characters are sweet, silly and - in that American Pie way - likeable.
Qualls is skinny geek Dizzy, who gets deliberately expelled so that he can reinvent himself at a new school as the coolest kid on the block. It works because he knows we know he knows it's a scam that's bound to come undone any moment. Throw in some love interest with Eliza Dushku, an eclectic mix of cameos (Vanilla Ice, Lyle Lovett, skateboarder Tony Hawk) and a 'you've just got to be yourself' message, and The New Guy scrapes a passing grade.
Likeable characters and a cliched but meatier-than-usual story for a teen comedy.