American Pie Review

by Susan Granger (Ssg722 AT aol DOT com)
July 8th, 1999

Susan Granger's review of "AMERICAN PIE" (Universal Pictures) You don't need a ouija board to predict that outrageous, adolescent sex comedies will be big box-office. Milder versions like "Porky's" and "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" were hot in the '80s, but the trend, ever since "Something About Mary," is toward edgy, raw, in-your-face vulgarity. And a slice of "American Pie" is about as raucous, raunchy, and ribald as you can get. Surprisingly, it's a true teen-sounding movie. The testosterone-driven plot revolves around four insecure high school seniors who make a pact not to be virgins after Prom Night, which is only three weeks away. There's Jason Biggs, who's like a young Adam Sandler, gamely agonizing through a hilarious "date" with a Czechoslovakian exchange student that's accidentally broadcast over the Internet. Thomas Ian Nicholas initiates the "We will get laid!" vow, despite the fact that he's never gotten past "third base" with his girl-friend. Eddie Kaye Thomas relies on rumors he's invented about his sexual prowess. And Chris Klein cultivates a corny sensitivity to charm a sweet choir girl. First-time film-makers Chris and Paul Weitz are heavily into gross-out humor, like the "Dumb and Dumber" Farrelly brothers, and Adam Herz's screenplay is slick, straight-forward funny with zero subtext. Sex itself is described as "warm apple pie." (Sara Lee is cringing!) Despite the crude jokes about masturbation, penis size, condoms, and various bodily functions, the underlying theme is about losing one's innocence. "It's not a space shuttle's sex." On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "American Pie" is a spicy 6 if you're a teenager but a stale 4 if you're old enough to be out of college. Odd, isn't it, that Hollywood knows that its young target audience will somehow wangle its way into this R-rated movie?

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