The New Guy (2002) starring DJ Qualls, Eliza Dushku, Zooey Deschanel, Jerod Mixon, Parry Shen, Lyle Lovett, Eddie Griffin, Sunny Mabrey, Ross Patterson directed by Ed Decter Movie Review

The New Guy (2002)   3/53/53/53/53/5

DJ Qualls in The New Guy (2002)

Every Loser Wins

Back in 1986, "Eastenders" actor Nick Berry topped the single charts with "Every Loser Wins", that song sums up "The New Guy" a teen comedy about a high school senior re-inventing them self, going from picked on dork too rebel cool kid. Story wise "The New Guy" isn't brilliant, solid vehicle for some cliche teen fun and a moral message about not forgetting your friends. But "The New Guy" works because not only does it have a good cast in DJ Qualls and Eliza Dushku but a strong supporting cast with various well known faces from the Hoff to Tony Hawks and the O'Connell brothers showing up in small parts, making it more amusing when you get a surprise casting choice.

It's Dizzy's (DJ Qualls,) first day as a senior and this year he hopes things will be different for him and his friends Nora, Kirk and Glen (Zooey Deschanel, Jerod Mixon, Parry Shen) but it doesn't take long for the humiliation to kick in when an incident with an 80 year old librarian leaves him with a broken dick. After ending up in a jail cell with a guy called Luther (Eddie Griffin) who explains to him that he needs to re-invent himself, Dizzy gets himself expelled and turns from Dork to cool kid as he starts a new school. And all is going well, he beats up the bullies, rallies the football team and scores himself a hot chick girlfriend in Danielle (Eliza Dushku) as everyone believes his image of cool kid whose done time. That is everyone except Danielle's former boyfriend who is determined to find the truth about the new kid.

Eliza Dushku in The New Guy (2002)

So from a storyline point of view "The New Guy" is solid but average as we go through the motions of dork going to cool kid, forgetting and denying his dorky friends before learning his lesson. It is shall we say predictable and to be honest whilst the humour is for the most varied it is just as predictable as band geeks get picked on, midgets get stuffed in trash cans and a couple of times people end up with their underwear pulled over their heads. It's not terrible but for the most the routine sort of comedy you find in these sorts of teen comedies, although there are some nice movie spoof scenes and some of it is nicely switched up with an expected teen movie fashion montage amusingly switched up to Danielle trying on various swim suits. Okay it's juvenile titillation when you have Eliza Dushku writhing in bikinis or wearing a bandana as a top but it achieves what it sets out to do.

But the thing about "The New Guy" is that it does have a good cast with DJ Qualls born to play the part of an awkward school dork. Qualls whilst fun when it comes to dork is just as much fun when he is trying to act cool and giving it the crazy eyes plus he works well with Eliza Dushku who whilst smoking hot still has a touch of that girl next door about her. But whilst Qualls and Dushku do a nice job of leading the movie the number of recognizable faces in supporting roles makes it so much fun. I am not just on about a young Zooey Deschanel cast as Dizzy's friend Nora but the likes of Gene Simmons, Henry Rollins, Jerry & Charlie O'Connell and Vanilla Ice all in minor parts.

What this all boils down to is that "The New Guy" is a solid but not great teen comedy which in truth has a predictable storyline matched by a lot of predictable humour. But some of the jokes stand out and with a great cast with some entertaining cameo's it ends up much more entertaining than you think it will be.