Written by: Mike Bender, Adam Jay Epstein, Andrew Jacobson, Phil Beauman and Buddy Johnson
Directed by: Joel Gallen
Starring: Chyler Leigh, Chris Evans, Jaime Pressly, Eric Christian Olsen, Mia Kirshner, Deon Richmond, Lacey Chabert, Randy Quaid and Molly Ringwald
- Running audio commentary with director Gallen & writer Bender
- Running audio commentary with actors Leigh, Pressly, Evans, Olsen, and Eric Jungmann
- Teen Movie Factiods Track
- 18 Deleted Scenes plus the film’s original ending
- School’s In Session: 3 Behind the Scenes Featurettes
- The Unrated Version of Marilyn Manson’s “Tainted Love” Music Video
- Joel Gallen’s first short film “Car Ride”
- Test Your Teen Movie IQ
- Auditions Montage
- Meet the Cast Promos
- The Yearbook
- Theatrical Trailers
Released by: Sony
My Advice: Rent it.
[ad#longpost]Janie Briggs (Leigh) is the “pretty ugly girl” of John Hughes High School. Jake Wyler (Evans) is the “beautiful jock.” Jake gets swindled into making a bet that he can’t turn Janie into Prom Queen material by the end of the movie. Malik (Richmond) is the “token black guy” who makes a counter bet with Jake that he will lose that bet, but learn something about himself and wind up a winner in life. Along the way, they wreak havoc on memorable scenes in every teen movie for the past twenty years.
Yeah, you guessed it. The plot that ties them all together is one big parody of the teen movie genre. Unfortunately, it is only slightly funny. Most of the humor in this film is incredibly over the top and just disgusting. There are really only three moments where I thought the writing was as clever as it should have been, and they all happen in the party scene halfway through the movie. However, they did get the stereotypical characters right for the most part. And nothing is sacred…not even Grease. Oh yeah, and I’d just like to state for the record that Molly Ringwald has the best line in the movie.
The best special feature of this DVD is a nod to VH-1’s “Pop-up Video” called Teen Movie Factoids. Little info bubbles pop up at various points in the movie with info about the movies they are parodying. I really like this feature–so much so, that I wish that other DVDs would start adding it. Well, you know, adding factoids that are relevant to the film in question. “Teen Movie Factoids” on Das Boot might be a little–oh, you know what I mean. Anyway,
there are a lot of other subtle jabs in the background of the scenes; most of which you won’t get on the first viewing that these little bubbles point out.
The “filmmakers commentary” is not really anything special. They talk mostly about the cast and how they had to work around everybody’s schedules. Most of the interesting stuff you would want to learn is already covered in the Pop-up bit. Have you even been around a group of people telling inside jokes and reminiscing about stuff you didn’t get to take part in? That’s what the cast commentary is like and it’s just annoying. So fear it.
There are three “behind the scenes” documentaries: one that covers the costume design, one that covers the casting process and script development, and one that highlights Joel Gallen’s directorial debut. Believe it or not, all of them are actually pretty interesting. With the possible exception being the costume design, none of them really take the film too seriously and so just focus on the film’s rampant silliness.
On the second menu of special features, you get to see a series of promos that introduces each stock character. They’re really nothing more than short television-style trailers. There is a montage of the actor’s audition video tapes which are really fun to watch. You also get to watch Joel Gallen’s first short film for MTV starring Jenny McCarthy called “Car Ride” which only lasts about 5 minutes, but it’s worth watching for the concept alone. The strongest feature on this menu, however, is the “Test Your Teen Movie IQ” quiz. There are about 8-10 questions, each on of them is asked by a different member of the cast or crew. Some of the questions about the 80s teen movies are quite hard and make you stop and think. You get more than one chance to answer each one, and when you find the right answer, you are sometimes rewarded with a video clip from the film.
I also found two “easter eggs” on the DVD, one of which is really nice. Apparently, Chyler Leigh’s boyfriend proposed to her during one of his takes on set, and got approval to get it caught on film. This is the nice one. In the other easter egg, you get to see nine different takes of the generation gap lesbian scene from the movie. So…take that for what it’s worth, if anything.
Each of the menus on the DVD is also a spoof of the movie posters for most of the teen movies of the past twenty years. All in all, I think this DVD presentation is very well put together. I think it’s worth renting to see the bonus material, but I wouldn’t urge you to put it on the shelf permanently.
- The DVD reviewed here is out of print. It’s been replaced by an unrated director’s cut, though. Click here to buy that DVD from Amazon.
- Click here to buy the soundtrack from Amazon.