As one of the characters in Not Another Teen Movie (2001) wonders, “Why do hot chicks always walk in slow-motion?”. If you’re not convinced of the verity of this remark, Joel Gallen’s frolicking fun film includes a sufficient number of examples. I watched it for the first time in November of 2006 when I was working on my thesis.
I was craving some Mia Kirshner strutting her stuff down the corridors of John Hughes High School, so I decided to watch it again.
Not Another Teen Movie parodies and references She’s All That, Varsity Blues, Cruel Intentions, American Pie, American Beauty, Road Trip, Can’t Hardly Wait, Drive Me Crazy, Never Been Kissed, Bring It On, 10 Things I Hate About You, Rudy/Radio/Lucas, Footloose, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Breakfast Club, and Pretty In Pink. Narratively, She’s All That, Varsity Blues, and Cruel Intentions are featured most prominently. More than an amalgamation of teen film formula, Not Another Teen Movie pays tribute to John Hughes as well.
Could Gallen’s film because considered a football film? Chris Evans plays Jake Wyler, the lackluster quarterback, and when he’s in school, he’s usually wearing his varsity jacket, which signifies his identity as a jock, a football player. Jake’s friends also play football.
The film’s four football moments exaggerate and make fun of high school football films, specifically Varsity Blues. One example of football activity occurs at a picnic where Jake is unable to throw the ball at the beer can sitting atop his father’s head. Repeated attempts end in failure. Another example is a flashback to a game where Jake’s decision to call an audible sends “teammate” Marty into the end zone after being torn into halves by defensive linemen–a fine but squishy way of perverting sanctioned, on-field violence. The third football sequence is also the state championship game; Jake has to do his QB thing but is no good. The last portion with football activity is near the end of the film and is a reversal of the picnic debacle. Although Not Another Teen Movie integrates the motifs from football films, it is overall more of a teen film than a football film.* The Comebacks, also a spoof of teen cinema, would be a football film.
*According to one of the special feature segments, the director found the football sequences to be the hardest to film. He was very thankful that Mark Ellis (aka Mark Robert Ellis) was coordinating.