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The New Guy
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The New Guy Review

Directed By: Ed Decter.
Starring: DJ Qualls, Eliza Dushku, Zooey Deschanel, Lyle Lovett and Eddie Griffin.

Synopsis: After sealing his 'uncool' reputation with an embarrassing ninth-grade accident, a high school student is expelled and winds up in jail. While incarcerated, his cellmate coaches him into changing his image. Upon his release, he decides to switch schools and work on his new image as a 'cool' kid. All goes well until his primary nemesis follows him to the new school.

I rarely come to expect much from any teen flick. I was lucky when growing up and a teen film meant The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Some Kind of Wonderful, Sixteen Candles, Pretty In Pink...sure there was a lot of crap ones but so many truly good flicks that it seems as if it were a Golden Age for teen films. Now, I am not hinting that The New Guy is anywhere near these flicks...but it does try to at least bridge a gap between weaker (but still funny) 80's efforts like Revenge of the Nerds and the gross-out teen flicks of today.

There are the necessary messy moments like a burning marshmallow in someone's eye (which I did laugh at), and the confession of men urinating in a geek's tuba that for some reason permeate the teen flick today. There are the geek inheriting the earth moments like Weird Science...in fact, The New Guy is very similar to Weird Science in several ways...sadly replacing Kelly Le Brock with Eddie Griffin. Griffin is great, totally insane and over the top as he tells Dizzy (Qualls) what he needs to do to re-structure his life.

Get expelled. Go to a new school. Beat up the biggest bad-ass on campus in front of the school.

So he follows the rules (essentially) and then goes through the typical geek-turned-popular problems. He snubs his friends, then makes up for them, he then rallies the school around the football team and merges the geeks with the popular folks.

"What makes you any different from the typical high school thugs since the beginning of time?" - Nora (Zooey Deschannel).

Then of course there is an attempt at a confession to the girl he has fallen in love with (Eliza Dushku) but we, as well as the makers of the film know, such attempts must fail and only the bully can make the reveal of Diz's past to the entire school, who must all make a decision...side with the bully or side with Diz.

What makes The New Guy just a touch better than some teen flicks is the few parodies it employs, the kicks at the genre it takes (even though being it's own film it mocks teen flicks in some ways better than Not Another Teen Movie ever did) and somehow still has a spirit within it that makes it mindlessly fun.

Oh yes, and of course, there is the one scene where they have Eliza Dushku parade around in a series of bathing suits. That should get the males filling some seats...or at making it a very popular web-item.

All in all, with Gene Simmons cameo as a minister preaching abstinence, and Qualls, Deschannel, Dushku all being at their most charming...a solid enough 3 stars out of five. I have to take marks off for some predictability, and always taking marks off for the cheap gross-out gags etc. A good renter, or even a matinee after having seen Spider-man for a second time...but not a Friday night, full-cost, armed with popcorn and a large pop kind of movie.

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Copyright© Written By: Rob Paul



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