The New Guy

Director: Ed Decter
Year Released: 2002
Rating: 1.5

Haven't I seen this before, like, two dozen times? Why yes, I have! Saved from the fires of critical rage by some inventive humor (Braveheart?) and surprise appearances by Eddie Griffin, Lyle Lovett and Henry Rollins (the latter is the warden). Nerdy kid (DJ Qualls) reinvents himself as cool and crazy, goes to new school and becomes popular, hides secret of his past, etc. etc., and the movie doesn't just settle for the Last Big Game for a finale but also has a Last Big Dance to top it off. While I'm thinking of it: why is it that the closest we have to the 'truth' of high school mentality is stuff like Zoe Trope's Please Don't Kill the Freshman or whatever Larry Clark's doing? "Better than Playstation 2?" Ms. Deschanel asks seductively. Not from where I'm sitting.