Directed by Ed Decter, starring DJ Qualls, Eliza Dushku, Zooey Deschanel, Jerod Mixon, Parry Shen and Lyle Lovett.
It’s food for thought that in the big bad world of Hollywood filmmaking week in, week out, courageous, brilliant scripts never make it past the pitch. Films that could change lives end up in a pile on a movie exec’s desk. ‘The New Guy’ makes you think of all the hard-won budgets, the lovingly scripted projects that never make if off the written page. Is it because this film stands shoulder to shoulder with these unmade masterpieces? Sadly no, it’s because it is quite unfathomable to believe that a film this bad EVER got made.
From start to finish, this is one long hackneyed ordeal. From poor dialogue, even worse gags, dreadful acting and every cliché in the US high school (year) book, this is the nadir of the teen ‘comedy’ genre. The plot - I use the word in its loosest terms – revolves around Dizzy, a geeky nobody who doesn’t register on his school’s social radar. In an attempt at coolness he gets himself expelled from one high school and ends up in jail. Here he meets Luther (Eddie Griffin), himself a former nerd who coaches him in the art of being cool. Dizzy re-invents himself as mysterious bad-boy loner Gil Harris and moves to another school where his jailbird reputation has preceded him. The rest you can probably guess – he dons shades, bleaches his hair, girls flock to him, guys want to hang out with him, his secret past catches up, but hey, they still like him AND he gets the girl.
The odd-looking DJ Qualls is believable as Dizzy and just laughable as tough guy Gil. The other cast members are equally as forgettable with the exception of Lyle Lovett as Gil’s concerned father and consistently watchable Illleana Douglas (how did she agree to be in this?). A series of woeful rubber-faced scenes and a so-bad-it-can’t-be-real 'Braveheart' take-off leave you just feeling embarrassed for the cast.
Bawdy, inane drivel. Or as we say in Dublin – BRUtal.