The New Guy (2001) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

This movie really exists in a world of its own.
Attempting to draw from the surrealist school of high school comedies, ala Better off Dead, The New Guy tells the story of a geek who gets expelled intentionally, then makes himself over into a cool guy at a new high school.


It has some moments of lunatic inspiration, like a Braveheart parody, a Patton parody, and the yearbook picture of a "slutty" girl, but the script strays so far from reality that it is difficult to relate to its characters in a real way. For example, the geeky guy gets thrown into jail at one point, where he first gets the idea to re-invent himself from his cellmate. Fair enough, except that every time he needs some more tips, we see him again in jail, then back in high school again. Is he on some kind of release program? In the final reel, the cellmate is out of prison at a high school dance, although we know he has eight years left to serve. Of course, he was back in prison at the end, narrating the story to a mysterious guest visitor (a star cameo). These details are not especially important in a surreal comedy, but they made the film impossible to follow, and the characters inaccessible except as comic stereotypes.

More important than that, however, was the fact that the geeky guy was every bit as geeky when he went to his new school, yet became the idol of thousands, desired by women, envied by men. I couldn't figure out if that was bad acting by the lead, or some kind of joke that I just didn't get, but I swear to you that he was every bit as geeky acting and looking.

Some of the film is just plain crap. Eliza Dushku spends a couple of minutes modeling bikinis for the geek, and she dances around for him with the same kind of dancing moves that would be used by a lap dancer in a strip club. I liked looking at her, but what was the point?

DVD info from Amazon.

  • widescreen format, anamorphic 1.85:1

Odd stuff, often incoherent, often failing woefully in its attempts at humor.

On the other hand, there were several entertaining cameos, a good hearted attitude, and a few minutes of madness that gave me a few laughs. On balance, I'd say it was a watchable, but barely watchable, youth comedy - about what is reflected by the 5.1 at IMDb.

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: one and a half stars. Ebert 2/4, 1/5


The People Vote ...

  • with their dollars: it grossed $28 million on a $13 million budget, thus assuring that investors will not lose anything. The gross was quite disappointing, however, considering a 2700 screen rollout.


IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C-.

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