THE NEW GUY, directed by David Kendall (one of THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY's
writers), is a throwaway teen comedy starring DJ Qualls from ROAD TRIP.
Although it starts off so bad that you feel like running out screaming -- Is an
80-year-old librarian grabbing a boy's private part and breaking it funny? -- it
eventually works its way up to merely bad rather than painfully awful. The
secret of its extremely modest improvement is its rip-off of SILENCE OF THE
LAMBS, PATTON and BRAVEHEART.
The story concerns Dizzy Harrison (Qualls), a "blip," meaning that he and his
crowd are so far off of the radar screen of the popular high school kids that
they don't even register. After being sent to prison, Dizzy learns how to act
tough. Rechristening himself as Gil Harris, he goes off to a new school where
his new bad attitude raises him to the top of the pecking order among the
students. Among the "hilarious" stunts he pulls in order to stand out is one in
which he sends a live video feed around the school of the principal having a
large and painful bowel movement. Since the movie stays just under the PG-13
radar, the jokes are heavy on bathroom humor and pratfalls.
Eliza Dushku (BRING IT ON) plays the popular girl with the killer body who falls
for Gil. Lyle Lovett plays Bear Harrison, Dizzy's dad, who figures that his son
must be on "crank." Parry Shen plays Dizzy's friend Glen, who ends all his
thoughts with "Does that sound gay?"
Eventually Gil reforms himself, admits his loser past and turns his whole new
high school into saints. I'm not kidding.
THE NEW GUY runs 1:30. It is rated PG-13 for "sexual content, language, crude
humor and mild drug references" and would be acceptable for teenagers.
My son Jeffrey, age 13, mixing his metaphors, said that "it stunk out loud."
Giving it just one star, he said that only a few of the jokes were funny and the
humor was just bad.
Copyright © 2002 Steve Rhodes