R, 1 hr. 30 min. Directed by: Joel Gallen. Release Date: December 14, 2001. DVD Release Date: April 30, 2002.
I have a love-hate relationship with the spoof. I love the idea of making fun of some of the dumber trends that exist within the various genres of film. There have been some moderately good spoofs made in the last decade or two (and beyond): Scary Movie, Vampires Suck, and The Naked Gun come to mind immediately. Well, Vampires Suck comes to mind because I'm sure it'll start a massive trend of bagging on how stupid the Twilight movies are. Then, there have been some absolutely terrible creations, like Meet The Spartans, Disaster Movie, and Dance Flick. Not Another Teen Movie falls somewhere in the middle. It isn't terrible enough to make me wish a falling meteor would strike me while I watch the movie, but it wasn't funny enough to really keep me entertained for the whole movie.
This spoof has some good bones, although I think it tries to take on too much, which is one of the crimes of the spoof genre in general. Better spoofs tend to minimize their influences, whereas the worst offenders of the genre will have a single movie that defines their storyline, but will take influences from every movie in the genre they're attempting to poke fun at. The more influences, the more chaos and the less funny the formula seems to create. Without giving too much thought to the question, I guess that Teen Movie spoofs scenes from more than a dozen teen movies spanning three decades: Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Jawbreaker, She's All That, Varsity Blues, blah blah blah. The list goes on and on. They could have reduced that number, kept their comedic efforts the same, but gotten a better overall effect.
The cast is also a bit stronger than average. Led by Chris Evans, who I like, but I think he gets bum parts because of how young he is. I'm hoping in another five years or so he'll get to cut his teeth on real parts and leave these teen comedies and action movies behind... although I may change my tune on that last after I see Captain America this summer. It's not like he'd be the first young actor with potential to be more than an action star that gets rooted in a single genre.
The movie waffles between funny and absurd. It doesn't take itself too seriously, and I'm all for that. I own this, but only watch it once every few years. It has some really great scenes, and others that make my gorge rise. I'd make this decision based on what you think about spoofs yourself, because picking a spoof is very hit or miss.