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The teen gross-out comedy aims to be this generation’s American Pie.
Television may be the first landing place of YouTube stars as they venture out into the mainstream, but the big screen is their next stop, with creators inking deals for the big screen left and right. YouTube pioneer Shane Dawson is leading that charge with his directorial debut, Not Cool, in theaters now.
Dawson’s film was created as part of a Starz television show called The Chair that gave two directors the same script by Dan Schoffer and the same budget and sent them off making their own movies. Not Cool follows Pittsburgh teens who’ve returned to their hometown for Thanksgiving break and includes fellow YouTubers in the cast like Drew Monson and Dawson’s girlfriend, Lisa Schwartz.
The film’s comedic tone is similiar to Dawson’s YouTube presence, with vomit-inspired humor, cross-dressing, and general absurdity. However, the script also lends itself to tender moments—and a chance for Dawson and his fellow actors to stretch their talents. Still, it solidly falls into the teen gross-out comedy category, something producer Chris Moore called to viewers’ attention when introducing Thursday’s premiere screening.
“I think that Not Cool is something that’s going to define a generation, in a way,” Moore told the audience. “Shane sort of represents that generation in his age and his style in coming up through the YouTube ranks.”
“The next time I get introduced, it won’t be Good Will Hunting and American Pie,” he added, citing the two films he’s best known for producing to date. “It’ll be Not Cool and Hollidaysburg and Chair, hopefully.”
— Jenn McAllister (@jennxpenn) September 19, 2014
— Rebecca Black (@MsRebeccaBlack) September 19, 2014
— Joey Graceffa (@JoeyGraceffa) September 19, 2014
— Ricky Dillon (@RickyPDillon) September 19, 2014
Not Cool is playing in select theaters starting Friday, Sept 19, and it’s out digitally Sept. 23.
Screengrab via ShaneDawsonTV/YouTube
A former YouTube reporter for the Daily Dot, Rae Votta has more than a decade of experience in the digital and entertainment industries. Her work has appeared on AOL, Huffington Post, Out Magazine, Logo, VH1, Current TV, Billboard, and NYMag. She joined Netflix in 2016.