Not Another Teen Movie (2001): Is it Inspired by Real People?

The 2001 teen comedy showcasing an ensemble cast and their coming-of-age story, ‘Not Another Teen Movie,’ marked director Joel Gallen’s unrivaled masterpiece. The cast features Chyler Leigh, Chris Evans, Jaime Pressly, Eric Christian Olsen, Mia Kirshner, Deon Richmond, and others. Besides its star-studded cast, the movie follows the story of teens across the picturesque landmark of Los Angeles. The movie showcases teens overcoming cliques with witty dialogues and a remarkable background score.

The movie centers around Jake and Janey, two people from opposite crowds brought together through a bet. With an ensemble of characters, including Janey’s brother, Jake’s sister, and other high school students, the film represents a coming-of-age story. While the film resembles the movies of the ‘80s and ‘90s, it does not allude to the ostentatious pomp of average teen romances. Instead, it delivers the reflection of honest and fully aware characters. As the characters battle the predetermined cliques and roles assigned to them in high school, one is bound to wonder whether such adversity stems from real-life actions. Given the very realistic portrayal of the stacked cast, one is bound to wonder whether it is based on true events. Let us find out.

Not Another Teen Movie: Parody of Iconic Teen Films

No, ‘Not Another Teen Movie’ is not based on a true story. A parody of teen films, director Joel Gallen’s oeuvre is based on the movies that have become household names. The script, which is loosely based on the plots of ‘She’s All That,’ ‘Varsity Blues,’ ‘10 Things I Hate About You’, ‘Can’t Hardly Wait,’ and ‘Pretty in Pink’ is written by Mike Bender, Adam Jay Epstein, Andrew Jacobson, Phil Beauman, and Buddy Johnson. From the get-go, the movie alludes to references as Josh Radnor’s character introduces students to their prospective cliques at ‘John Hughes High School.’

For fans of movies from the ‘80s and ‘90s, the movie brings a whirlwind of intricately thought-out references that simply cannot be missed. The irreverent tone is carried throughout the movie by the characters seamlessly. Jake, the high school jock, is dumped by his cheerleader girlfriend. To rectify his social status, his friends suggest turning a “uniquely rebellious girl,” Janey, into the Prom Queen in order to retain the status quo. So, naturally, Jake carries out acts of wooing as laid down in famous movies.

From parodying Heath Ledger’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” to parading her at a house party, the movie sets the tone for fans to bellow in laughter. Other characters range from the perfect girl to the tokenistic black guy and even the obsessive best friend. From REO Speedwagon’s “Can’t Fight This Feeling Anymore” automatically playing upon the entrance of ‘The Perfect Girl’ to Janey undergoing a drastic change by simply removing her glasses and ponytail, the characters sell the absurd concepts effortlessly. 

Meanwhile, Janey’s younger brother continues to find ways to lose his virginity, and others prepare for prom. However, Janey soon finds out about the bet, and a saddened Jake voices his inner battles in a song along the Santa Monica pier. Even so, Jake is titled prom king, but the votes for the prom queen are tied. While everyone speculates the winner to be Janey or Priscilla, the prom queens turn out to be the conjoined twins Sara and Kara Fratelli. As the prom king and queen head to the stage for the formal prom and queen dance, Jake is told that Janey has left with Justin AKA ‘The Cocky Blonde Guy.’ 

In a stereotypical bout to knock the arrogant guy in his place, Jake coldly punches Austin and Priscilla for humiliating Janey. Using a plethora of cliche lines from movies like ‘American Beauty,’ ‘Sixteen Candles,’ ‘Pretty in Pink,’ ‘Cruel Intentions, and ‘The Breakfast Club,’ Jake reaches the airport and convinces Janey not to go to Paris to attend an art school.

However, when a cameo of Molly Ringwald convinces him to be truthful, he finally delivers an original speech stating why the two would be better off separated, which Janey mistakes for a speech from ‘The Karate Kid.’ Even in the final scene, a background character who always tries to find the right moment to start a slow clap is eclipsed by another character who steals his thunder. Thus, despite the gags that seem overtly real and hit close to home, ‘Not Another Teen Movie’ is a parody film that manages to create an instant connection with the audience with its invigorating script and relatable narrative. 

Read More: Where Was Not Another Teen Movie (2001) Filmed?