There are good parody movies and there are bad parody movies. There are also middle-of-the-road parody movies and Chris Evans’ feature film debut, 2001’s Not Another Teen Movie, falls firmly in the middle. It can now be seen on Netflix.
Not Another Teen Movie is actually quite underrated. It skewers the many teen movies of its day, leaving no film in genre unturned while ramping of the raunch a number of decibels.
Chris Evans is The Popular Jock, Jake Wyler. He goes to John Hughes High, playing back-up quarterback for the varsity football team. His girlfriend, The Nasty Cheerleader, is Priscilla (Jaime Pressly) and she is spot on with her take on mean high schoolers leading the pom-pom brigade. Then there is The Pretty Ugly Girl, Janey Briggs (Chyler Leigh). Janey is the girl who wears the big ugly glasses, has her hair in a ponytail, and sports horrendous overalls. See how they all fit together?
When Priscilla decides it’s time to break up with Jake, he is challenged by his friend and starting quarterback Austin (Eric Christian Olsen), The Cocky Blonde Guy, to take Janey Briggs and turn her into a prom queen. Bet accepted.
Jake’s sister Catherine (Mia Kirshner), The Cruelest Girl, who has an extremely unhealthy attraction to Jake (Chris Evans), decides to help Jake transform Janey from an ugly duckling to the most beautiful and desired girl in school. To do this, Catherine simply removes Janey’s glasses and takes out her ponytail. Yes, this is the humor in Not Another Teen Movie. You either find it funny or you don’t.
To truly get a kick out of this movie, as with any parody film, one must know and understand the movies it’s parodying. Here, the list is long and includes movies like She’s All That, 10 Things I Hate About You, Varsity Blues, Bring It On, American Beauty, American Pie, The Breakfast Club, and Can’t Hardly Wait. Those are just a few of the movies Not Another Teen Movie is lampooning, which is an odd place to put Chris Evans now that we’ve seen the rest of his career play out.
For the many parody (or spoof) movie hits, there are many more failures. Mel Brooks is the unquestioned King of the Spoof movie with titles like Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, High Anxiety, Spaceballs, and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. But there are other huge hits like Airplane!, Top Secret!, The Naked Gun franchise, Scary Movie, and This is Spinal Tap.
As for the failures, well the list is quite overwhelming, and one wonders just how some of these films actually got made. There was every Scary Movie in the franchise after the first film, Epic Movie, Disaster Movie, Meet the Spartans, Vampires Suck, and Dance Flick, to name but a few awful ones. Even if you are a fan of parody movies, some of these are simply too hard to watch and quite unfunny.
Not Another Teen Movie was giving Chris Evans his first shot at a feature. He immediately showed his ability for comedy, though the movie didn’t endear him immediately to producers in Hollywood. It would take Evans another couple of years before his star would rise when in 2004, he was first seen in The Perfect Score then followed that up with the underrated thriller Cellular starring opposite Kim Basinger and Jason Statham. Cellular showed that Evans could lead a film.
Chris Evans then turned that into a starring role as Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four, a modest hit that also got him the sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. The next few years saw Evans hit and miss until, in 2011, Marvel came calling once again, but this time it was for him to become America’s First Avenger, Captain America.
Captain America would be a role that Chris Evans would embody. He was built to play the clean-cut superhero and it would be a part that Evans would revisit ten times in total, including an uncredited appearance in Marvel’s Ant-Man. It has defined much of his career.
Since he began playing Cap a decade ago, Chris Evans has also stepped away from the shield and found other parts. He was seen in The Iceman, Snowpiercer, Playing It Cool, Gifted, The Red Seas Diving Resort, and grabbed great critical reviews in Rian Johnson’s murder-mystery Knives Out. Most recently Evans was seen in the TV mini-series Defending Jacob.
Even with his time concluding as Captain America in Avengers: Endgame, Chris Evans has kept his plate full. He takes over for Tim Allen in Disney’s Lightyear, the animated feature about the early adventures of Buzz Lightyear, then follows that up with the features The Gray Man and a part in the remake of the musical Little Shop of Horrors, taking on the Steve Martin role as Orin Scrivello, D.D.S.
There are rumors, gaining traction, that Chris Evans may eventually pick up the shield one more time. Fans can only hope. For now, though, go check out the raunchy parody flick Not Another Teen Movie on Netflix. It is Chris Evans’ debut and trust us, it’ll bring a smile to your face.