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The New Guy (2002)
Year, country:
Ed Decter
DJ Qualls Lyle Lovett Eliza Dushku
1h 28m

"The New Guy" (2002), directed by Ed Decter, is a teen comedy that takes the classic high school misfit story and gives it a hilarious and irreverent twist. Starring DJ Qualls, Eliza Dushku, Zooey Deschanel, and Eddie Griffin, the film follows the misadventures of an awkward and unpopular high school student who reinvents himself to become the coolest guy in school.

The story centers on Dizzy Gillespie Harrison (DJ Qualls), a high school senior who endures constant humiliation and bullying. After a particularly embarrassing incident, Dizzy decides to turn his life around. Inspired by a chance encounter with a hardened convict named Luther (Eddie Griffin) during a prison tour, Dizzy hatches a plan to become a new person by transferring to a different school.

At his new school, Dizzy adopts the rebellious persona of Gil Harris, a mysterious and fearless troublemaker. To his surprise, this new identity earns him instant popularity and catches the attention of the beautiful and tough-minded Danielle (Eliza Dushku). As Dizzy navigates the challenges of his newfound popularity, he discovers the importance of authenticity and true friendship.

"The New Guy" injects humor into the traditional high school comedy formula with its over-the-top characters, outrageous situations, and a healthy dose of slapstick comedy. DJ Qualls brings a quirky charm to the role of Dizzy, making his transformation from geek to cool kid both amusing and endearing. The supporting cast, including Eliza Dushku as the love interest and Zooey Deschanel as Dizzy's quirky friend, adds to the film's comedic energy.

Eddie Griffin steals scenes as Luther, the prison inmate who becomes Dizzy's unconventional mentor. Luther's unfiltered wisdom and unconventional advice contribute to the film's comedic irreverence. The soundtrack, featuring a mix of rock and hip-hop, complements the film's energetic and rebellious tone.

"The New Guy" also satirizes high school cliques and stereotypes, poking fun at the conventions of teen comedies. The film doesn't take itself too seriously, embracing its absurdity and delivering laughs through its clever writing and comedic performances.

Ed Decter's direction keeps the film fast-paced and entertaining, balancing the absurdity of its premise with heartwarming moments of self-discovery. While "The New Guy" may not have been a critical darling, it found success as a lighthearted and entertaining addition to the teen comedy genre, resonating with audiences who appreciate its humor and unconventional take on high school tropes.