not another teen movie(2001)
director: joel gallen
chyler leigh, chris evans, mia kirshner

. Once upon a time, there were westerns and romances, comedies and musicals. It must have been a nice world when four genres pretty much encompassed all of the movies. 

Who would have thought, back in the Seventies when Mel Brooks made Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, and Abrahams, Zucker and Abrahams made Airplane, that the parody itself would become such a long-lasting genre? 

A parody of the teen flick genre is as much of a strain as a parody of slasher flicks, since the best of both genres -- from the Scream franchise to films like Clueless or Dude, Where’s My Car? -- are already parodies, more knowing and satisfying for their intended audience than any superannuated sketch comedy masquerading as a feature film.

Director Joel Gallen and his tag-team of writers cast their net wide with the redundantly-titled Not Another Teen Movie, taking in the whole of the genre from the Eighties till today. Set at John Hughes High School (wink wink), they manage to cram in elements of every entry in the genre’s filmography, from Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club to Cruel Intentions and She’s All That. It’s an exhausting exercise of spot the scene for the audience, and Gallen piles it on thick, cramming the background and the soundtrack with as many gags as the eye or ear will register.

There are even cameos, including perhaps the ultimate -- Molly Ringwald herself, criticizing the film’s finale in disgust. You feel for her, especially since Gallen and his writers seem motivated by scant affection for the teenflick genre, replacing the innocence that animates even the most jaded example with scatology and bellowing sexual innuendo. After an hour and a half of spit, vibrator, incontinence and exploding toilet jokes, you sympathize with Ringwald’s heartfelt despair, and wonder what she did to her agent to land in this purgatory.