With the onslaught of teen fare at the turn of the millennium, which mirrors a similarly fertile period in the 1980s, it was inevitable that a broad lampoon in the same vein as Scary Movie would spring forth. The less nasty and often more fun cousin of that horror spoof has arrived with Not Another Teen Movie, whose title is just the first bit of overdone self-awareness that hits more than it misses. A quintet of screenwriters pull off a minor miracle in riffing on whole story lines from countless films, without straining the minimal logic required of a yukfest like this. Taking its major inspiration from She's All That, notably the fact that eyeglasses and overalls qualify a beauty as the school's "ugly outsider," the movie coasts along on a succession of gross-out sight gags befitting the era of its release, while maintaining an '80s lightness that keeps the vibe giddy. Where the film sometimes sputters is in the extent of its self-reflexivity -- when Janey (Chyler Leigh) accuses Jake (Chris Evans) of poaching dialogue from She's All That, it draws too much attention to the satirical project at hand, best buried under the surface. Similar gripes can be made about naming the school John Hughes High and including an awkward cameo from a Brat Pack star in the closing frames. But the guilty-pleasure hits come in inventive ways, such as parading around a constantly nude exchange student (a jab at American Pie) and creating a character who always starts the obligatory "slow clap" at all the wrong moments.
by Derek Armstrong review