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The New Guy
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ed Decter
Produced by Greg Silverman
John J. Strauss
Written by David Kendall
Starring DJ Qualls
Eliza Dushku
Zooey Deschanel
Lyle Lovett
Eddie Griffin
Music by Ralph Sall
Cinematography Michael D. O'Shea
Edited by David Rennie
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • May 10, 2002 (2002-05-10)
Running time
88 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $13 million
Box office $31,167,388

The New Guy is a 2002 American teen comedy film directed by Ed Decter. The film tells the story of high school loser Dizzy Gillespie Harrison.[2] Dizzy is an unpopular, high school band geek going through a hellish senior year.

In an attempt to make a new identity for himself, Dizzy gets himself expelled from his high school, learns how to be cool from a prison inmate, and enrolls at a new high school under the alias Gil Harris. He is quick to make new friends and soon gains respect from jocks and geeks alike, uniting a once divided school and 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. Dizzy is friends with Nora, Kirk, and Glen,[3] who together started a funk rock band and are addicted to video games. They attend Rocky Creek High School, where Dizzy is picked on by basically everyone, especially star football player Barclay. This occurs before and after sex symbol Tina Osgood holds his hands, causing him to have an erection and ends up activating the trap where the jocks belittle him with no mercy.[3][4] Dizzy's white briefs were yanked from underneath his pants and placed around his head[3] - revealing the erect penis in plain sight to nearly everyone instead of "covering it." The school librarian would eventually "break" it after Dizzy refuses to "hand" over the "weapon" to her.[2][4] 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.[2]

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.[3] 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.[2] 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 (a reference to Con Air) and beating up the school bully, Connor.[2]

The action has an intended effect, and head cheerleader Danielle welcomes the newcomer to school.[3] Her friend Courtney invites Dizzy to a party and through a mishap, Dizzy gives Courtney the impression that he has rejected her. 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.

At the football game, Dizzy, referencing General Patton in the film, gives an impassioned speech to the team, who proceed to win their first game. 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.

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 begins to win games and bullying becomes a thing of the past.[2] 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. At school the next day, he 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 and tie up the two bullies. Nora admits longstanding feelings for Glen, and after Danielle reveals that she was also a nerd growing up and forgives him for hiding who he was they reconcile.

Luther ends the film, and the man he is talking to is revealed to be David Hasselhoff.


Cameo appearances

Unrated version[edit]

In the 92-minute unrated cut, Dizzy appears to be a "child of divorce.[5]" He once had a mother named Beth Anne but she left the family while Dizzy was doing his "godfather of soul" routine.[5] Miss Kiki Pierce talks about Dizzy's excessive masturbation and becomes his stepmother in the uncensored version (unlike the PG-13 version).[5]

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.[5]


The New Guy was panned by critics. 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."[6] On Metacritic, the film has a 24% rating, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews" based on reviews from 23 critics.[7]

Despite the poor response, the film was a modest box office success, grossing $31,167,388 worldwide[8] against a $13 million production budget.[9]


  1. "The New Guy" by Mystikal
  2. "I'm Just a Kid" by Simple Plan
  3. "You Really Got Me" by Eve 6
  4. "Keep the Party Goin'" by Juvenile
  5. "So Fresh, So Clean" by OutKast
  6. "Outsider" by Green Day
  7. "Uh Huh" by B2K
  8. "So Dizzy" by Rehab
  9. "Breakout" by OPM
  10. "Dark Side" by Wheatus
  11. "I Love You" by Nine Days
  12. "Heart in Hand" by Vertical Horizon
  13. "Hi-Lo" by JT Money
  14. "Let It Whip" by SR-71

Songs that were featured in the film but do not appear on the soundtrack include:


The opening scene where Dizzy is dropped off by the prison guards is the now demolished old Del Valle High School (East Campus) in Del Valle, Texas. The next scene was filmed at Akins High School in Austin, Texas.


  1. ^ "THE NEW GUY (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. 2002-04-04. Retrieved 2012-12-01. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Basic summary". Reeling Reviews. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Advanced summary". Screen It!. Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  4. ^ a b "The erection scene of The New Guy". Mahalo. Retrieved 2012-04-02. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Unrated version of The New Guy". Movie Censorship. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  6. ^ The New Guy at Rotten Tomatoes Flixster
  7. ^ The New Guy at Metacritic CBS
  8. ^ Elvis Mitchell (2002-05-10). "FILM REVIEW; The New Kid Struggles to Make a Bad Impression". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-03-30. 
  9. ^ The New Guy at Box Office Mojo

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_Guy — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

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