The New Guy
|The New Guy|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Ed Decter|
|Written by||David Kendall|
|Music by||Ralph Sall|
|Cinematography||Michael D. O'Shea|
|Edited by||David Rennie|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Releasing|
The film tells the story of high school loser Dizzy Harrison (Qualls) who gets himself expelled so that he can move schools and reinvent himself. Learning how to be cool from a prison inmate, he renames himself Gil Harris and is quick to make new friends and soon gains respect from jocks and geeks alike. He begins dating popular girl Danielle (Dushku) and unites a once-divided school, also greatly improving its football team. Eventually, Gil has to face his demons from his old school when they face each other in a football game. The film received generally negative reviews, but was a modest box office success.
The film begins with prison inmate Luther speaking directly to the camera to an unseen individual, telling the story of Dizzy Gillespie Harrison, an 18-year-old nerdy high school senior in Austin, Texas. Dizzy is friends with Nora, Kirk, and Glen, who together started a funk rock band called "Suburban Funk" and are addicted to video games. They attend Rocky Creek High School, where Dizzy is picked on by everyone, especially star football player Barclay. After sex symbol Tina Osgood touches his arm, causing him to have an erection and embarrassing him as the jocks belittle him, his white briefs were yanked from underneath his pants and placed around his head. The school librarian "breaks" his penis after Dizzy refuses to "hand" over the "weapon" to her. Dizzy is misdiagnosed with Tourette's syndrome; he is then placed on medication by the school counselor who advises his father to spend every moment possible with him. While at the mall's food court, the heavily-medicated Dizzy makes a fool of himself at a church revival and gets arrested.
In jail, Dizzy meets Luther, who turns out to be a sympathetic ex-victim who makes it his goal to teach him how to be cool. In an attempt to wipe the slate clean, Dizzy gets himself expelled from his old high school, then undergoes a makeover with the help of the prison inmates and guards. Changing his name to "Gil Harris", he enrolls at East Highland High and makes an impression by being dropped off in a prison van in restraints and beating up the school bully, Connor.
The action has the intended effect, and head cheerleader Danielle welcomes the newcomer to school. Her friend Courtney invites Dizzy to a party and through a mishap, Dizzy gives Courtney the impression that he has blown her off. Using a photo given to him by the prison inmates and help from his old friends, Dizzy manages to escape the party with his reputation intact. Upon returning home, however, he finds his father has agreed to sell his house and quit work to supervise him, which results in the pair living in a trailer.
Danielle asks Dizzy to encourage the school to go to see the football team play, Dizzy, referencing General Patton and Braveheart, gives an impassioned speech, inspiring the team to win their first game in years. He is soon enlisted by the coach and principal to plan the school's homecoming dance, and becomes imbued with school spirit, shedding his bad boy image. Danielle breaks up with Connor and starts dating Dizzy.
However, Dizzy and Gil are fast becoming too big for one body. When Nora berates Dizzy for becoming the same person he once hated, he uses his newfound popularity to confront Connor. Dizzy and Danielle spur the students to reunite, and the lines dividing the different cliques are broken. With a new philosophy, the school football team wins more games and bullying becomes a thing of the past. Reaching the state championship, where they play Rocky Creek, Dizzy's antics on the sideline cost Rocky Creek the game, although Barclay recognizes his old punching bag. East Highland High celebrates and Dizzy and Danielle have sex. At school the next day, Barclay attempts to beat up Dizzy, and is in turn attacked by the entire student body. After the attack, Connor helps up Barclay from the ground, telling him he wants to know what he knows about Dizzy.
The homecoming dance, which Dizzy's funk band is supposed to play, is crashed by the students of Rocky Creek. Barclay and Connor, who have joined forces to set a trap for Dizzy, play an embarrassing video of the librarian incident. However, Luther and the other inmates arrive to save Dizzy, tying up the two bullies. Nora admits longstanding feelings for Glen, and Danielle reveals to Dizzy that she was also a nerd growing up. She forgives him for hiding who he was and they kiss.
- DJ Qualls as Dizzy Gillespie Harrison/Gil Harris
- Eliza Dushku as Danielle
- Eddie Griffin as Luther
- Zooey Deschanel as Nora
- Lyle Lovett as Bear Harrison
- Jerod Mixon as Kirk
- Parry Shen as Glen
- Rachael E. Stevens as Tina
- Ameer Baraka as Barclay
- Kina Cosper as Estelle
- Ross Patterson as Conner Maguire
- Geoffrey Lewis as Principal Zaylor
- Kurt Fuller as Mr. Undine
- Sunny Mabrey as Courtney
- Illeana Douglas as Miss Kiki Pierce
- Justine Johnston as Mrs. Whitman
- Matt Gogin as Ed Ligget
The film was shot in Austin and around Austin (San Marcos, Elgin, and Del Valle) utilized Texas State University, Driskell Hotel, and an FYE (retailer) at Lakeline Mall between October 23, 2000 to January 12, 2001.
In the 92-minute unrated cut, Dizzy appears to be a "child of divorce." He once had a mother named Beth Anne but she left the family while Dizzy was doing his "godfather of soul" routine. Miss Kiki Pierce talks about Dizzy's excessive masturbation and becomes his stepmother in the uncensored version (unlike the PG-13 version).
According to the storyline in the uncensored version, Gil Harris had apparently murdered a guy in Rhode Island before being sent off to prison while no back story was made for the name in the theatrical version.
Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 7% based on 97 reviews with the consensus: "Incoherent, silly, and unoriginal, The New Guy offers up the same old teen gross-out comedy cliches." On Metacritic, the film has a 24% rating, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews" based on reviews from 23 critics. Derek Armstrong of allmovie described it as one of the dumbest and most derivative teen comedies in years and gave the film his lowest star rating. He later stated that it "was on a par with Citizen Kane compared to Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star."
- "The New Guy" by Mystikal
- "I'm Just a Kid" by Simple Plan
- "You Really Got Me" by Eve 6
- "Keep the Party Goin'" by Juvenile
- "So Fresh, So Clean" by OutKast
- "Outsider" by Green Day
- "Uh Huh" by B2K
- "So Dizzy" by Rehab
- "Breakout" by OPM
- "Dark Side" by Wheatus
- "I Love You" by Nine Days
- "Heart in Hand" by Vertical Horizon
- "Hi-Lo" by JT Money
- "Let It Whip" by SR-71
Songs that were featured in the film but do not appear on the soundtrack include:
- "Super Bad" by James Brown
- "Action Figure Party" by Action Figure Party
- "(Rock) Superstar" by Cypress Hill
- "Click Click Boom" by Saliva
- "Boléro" by Hungarian State Orchestra
- "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" by Ennio Morricone
- "In the Air Tonight" by Phil Collins
- "Also sprach Zarathustra" by Interstellar Force
- "Dammit, I Changed Again" by The Offspring
- "Bounce" by Glo & Eklips
- "She's a Bad Mama Jama (She's Built, She's Stacked)" by Carl Carlton
- "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" by St. John's Cathedral Choirs and Festival Orchestra
- "Lookin' for Love" by Johnny Lee
- "Girl All the Bad Guys Want" by Bowling for Soup
- "New Religion Every Day" by American Steel
- "Soar" by All Too Much
- "The New You" by Laptop
- "The Anthem" by Good Charlotte
- "Wannabe Gangster* by Wheatus
- "THE NEW GUY (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. April 4, 2002. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
- "Basic summary". Reeling Reviews. Retrieved 2009-07-21.
- "Advanced summary". Screen It!. Retrieved 2009-07-22.
- "The erection scene of The New Guy". Mahalo. Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2012-04-02.
- "Unrated version of The New Guy". Movie Censorship. Retrieved 2009-07-21.
- The New Guy at Rotten Tomatoes Flixster
- The New Guy at Metacritic CBS
- Elvis Mitchell (2002-05-10). "FILM REVIEW; The New Kid Struggles to Make a Bad Impression". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
- The New Guy at Box Office Mojo
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