The New Guy
High school can be an agonizing time in a young person’s life, particularly when they’re targets for pranks by popular bullies. Dizzy Gillespie Harrison (DJ Qualls) knows from experience, but thinks his senior year will be different. In this improbable tale, a school infraction earns him a short stay in the local prison unit. Luther (Eddie Griffith), a long-term prisoner, befriends Dizzy and teaches him how to change his image. Wanting a fresh start in a new school, Dizzy gets expelled from Rocky Creek High and enters East Highlands as Gil Harris. Using what he learned from Luther, Gil quickly gains popularity in the new setting and even helps motive the losing football team into a winning year. But the championship game against Rocky Creek could expose his embarrassing past. Older teens and young adults will recognize some of the humorous truths in both school and business as Dizzy learns the ins and outs of being THE NEW GUY.
Although the film tries hard to be likable and delivers some good messages, it is also filled with objectionable material typical of teen-oriented comedies. In the new school, Dizzy’s new tough guy image attracts propositions from girls, including an offer to ‘make out and take our clothes off’ from a popular cheerleader with a promiscuous reputation. After denying his friends in front of a new girlfriend, Dizzy later apologizes and uses his new popularity to make positive changes in the school, including inspiring the students to treat others better. Unfortunately, the positive messages in THE NEW GUY are mixed with crude sexual material, vulgar language and inappropriate moderate violence.