American Pie Reviewby "Berge Garabedian" (drsuess AT microtec DOT net)
June 24th, 1999
RATING: 7 / 10 --> Good Movie
For more movie reviews and screensavers, visit http://www.joblo.com/
This film is being touted as the 90s version of PORKY'S or FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH, and the conglomeration of last year's THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY (7.5/10) and CAN'T HARDLY WAIT (7/10). It stars a bunch of unknown teens in a raunchy script which actually talks about the main thing that most kids talk about in high school: getting laid!
Four good friends, who all happen to be virgins, make a pact to get laid before prom nite. Prom nite happens to be only three weeks away.
Finally, a high school movie that puts the "T" back in Teen flicks! Yes, there is nudity in this film. Yes, there are masturbation scenes, oral sex scenarios, intercourse montages, but nothing too graphic on the whole. Mostly implied. Overall, the film features a few huge laughs (a la MARY), featuring a doctored cup of beer, the by-now infamous apple pie sequence, the Internet used to its full potential and a cute Mrs. Robinson vibe nodding THE GRADUATE, and a lot of open talk about sex, masturbation, porn, but nothing terribly insightful, shocking or hilarious for my taste. I was personally hoping that this film would take more chances than it did, but ultimately it seemed to go for the easy visual gag or toilet humor (one pulled directed from the Farrelly's DUMB AND DUMBER (7.5/10)). Sure, I did laugh at most of them, but the script seemed to play more like a few funny sketches plotted against an average high school story, than a string of laughs strategically laced through a unique script.
The couples in the film were also so-so, with one of them not really all that interesting to keep track of, and another tapping into a sugary fairy-tale ending. The few actors that did stand out for me included Jason Biggs, who played the every-guy who we could all relate to (And yes, we've all pulled a whack to scrambled TV porn!), Chris Klein reprising his goofy-nice-guy role from ELECTION (7/10) (Two funny performances, but now it's time to stretch, Chris) and Sean William Scott, as the jerk with all the over-the-top insulting lines. Other than that, the film seemed to run a little long, although they might cut it by release date, since our preview was a "rough cut", and featured a decent teen soundtrack. Overall, I think that the frank sexual content and dialogue in this film will be refreshing to most teens, despite the script's lack of other innovative narrative additions: it's still the nerds vs jocks, prom nite, kids lying about their virginity, etc... A teen version of THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY? Kind of. But certainly not your average high school flick, and certainly eons away from the safe teenage flicks bestowed upon us by the great John Hughes in the 80s.
Little Known Facts about this film and its stars:
Big Ben Affleck's baby brother, Casey Affleck, makes a cameo in this film as the "older, wiser brother".
Director Paul Weitz and producer Chris Weitz are brothers. They are known to have co-written the screenplay for ANTZ (6.5/10). Born in New York, the brothers are third generation Hollywood pedigree. Their grandfather was the fabled agent Paul Kohner, who represented such legendary filmmakers as John Huston, Billy Wilder and Ingmar Bergman and their parents are fashion designer John Weitz and Academy Award-nominated actress Susan Kohner. Californian punk-rockers BLINK 182 are featured on the soundtrack, and also make an appearance in this movie. Their band name is derived from the number of times Al Pacino uttered the F-word in SCARFACE (8.5/10).
This film was originally sold as the "Untitled Teenage Sex Comedy Which Can Be Made For Under $10 Million Which Studio Readers Will Most Likely Hate But I Think You Will Love". It then went through two other name changes, GREAT FALLS and EAST GREAT FALLS HIGH. It also took this film four tries to get an R-rating instead of an NC-17.
Actor Chris Klein got his big break in the acting world when he literally bumped into director Alexander Payne (ELECTION) while he was scouting Klein's high school as a possible shoot location for his film. Months later when Klein was attending college at Texas Christian University, Payne cast him in the co-starring role of Paul Metzler.
Actress Alyson Hannigan is best known to television audiences for her regular role as Willow on TV's "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer".
Actor Thomas Ian Nicholas is also touring on the road with his band, "The T.I.N. Men". Some of you may remember his girlfriend in this film, actress Tara Reid, from her role as Bunny Lebowski in the Coen Bros' film THE BIG LEBOWSKI (6.5/10).
Review Date: June 21, 1999
Director: Paul Weitz
Writer: Adam Herz
Producers: Warren Zide, Craig Perry, Chris Moore, Chris Weitz Actors: Jason Biggs as Jim
Chris Klein as Oz
Thomas Ian Nicholas as Kevin
Eddie Kaye Thomas as Finch Genre: Comedy
Year of Release: 1999
JoBlo's Movie Emporium
(c) 1999 Berge Garabedian
Originally posted in the rec.arts.movies.reviews newsgroup. Copyright belongs to original author unless otherwise stated. We take no responsibilities nor do we endorse the contents of this review.