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Family Film Guide: 'The New Guy'

Sunday, May 12, 2002

Post-Gazette critics review movies from a family perspective:

"The New Guy"

Rated: PG-13.

Best for: Teens or those who can relate to the movie's slogan, "In high school, popularity isn't a contest -- it's a war."

What you should know: DJ Qualls plays a dorky Texas teen named Dizzy who suffers yet another indignity and decides to reinvent himself and enroll at another high school. A prison inmate (Eddie Griffin) helps him learn how to stop bullies with a "crazy eyes" glance and no longer reside at the bottom of the food chain. He becomes the cool new guy, which pains his old, neglected friends.

Offensive language: About a dozen mild expletives are used, and Dizzy takes a camera into the men's room, where he catches the principal on the toilet.

Sex: Dizzy has an embarrassing physical reaction to a girl's attention, which leads to public humiliation and an unwanted nickname. A girl tries to entice Dizzy to make out but he tumbles off a roof by mistake. A girl and boy get together, off camera.

Drug/alcohol use: Dizzy is mistakenly diagnosed with Tourette's syndrome, overmedicated and then asked if he's on crank or crystal meth. He's not. We hear that instead of going to football games, students "sit on their car hoods, drink beer and puke."

Violence: No one is permanently injured, but students regularly smack each other around -- without any adult interference. A diminutive band member, for instance, is thrown into a garbage can and rolled down a hill, and Dizzy and a rival exchange blows. An adult ends up with a flaming marshmallow in the eye, a bit played for laughs.

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