American Pie Review

by James Brundage (brundage AT alltel DOT net)
July 18th, 1999

American Pie

Directed by Paul Weitz

Written by Adam Herz

Starring Jason Biggs, Shannon Elizabeth, Alyson Hannigan, Chris Klein, Natasha Lyonne, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Tara Reid, Mena Suvari, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Seann William Scott, Jennifer Coolidge

As Reviewed by James Brundage (MovieKritic2000)

All right. I never saw Porky's, I missed Animal House, and the entire genre of sex comedy isn't really my forte, but I know good movies when I see them, and take it from me, American Pie is good on its own.

The funniest movie I have see so far this year (although that may change when I see South Park), American Pie is the story of the common high schooler on the common high school quest: to get laid. And, like any man faced with the prospect of unwillingly going to college a virgin, they are going out of their minds. So, in the morning after a beer party at which it appears everyone was having sex but them, the four (led by Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), who just lost his girlfriend over his desire to go all the way instead of settle for getting head.) make a pact to get laid by the prom. Of course, the funniest thing about this is the speech Kevin makes about the virtues of helping each other get laid --Sometimes, when you're exercising, you need a spotter, someone to make sure you keep going," he says. That, he proposes, is the function each of them will serve for one another.
Jim (Jason Briggs) attempts to go about this by helping a Chezch vixen, Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth) with her studies and offering to help in more obscene matters. When a netbroadcast goes terribly wrong, he turns to the already infamous flute-girl Michelle (Alyson Hannigan), and if you don't know where the flute goes, you can be pleasantly surprised. Oz (Chris Klein), jock to the core, joins the choir to get girls like Jessica (Natasha Lyonne). Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) decides that he should learn how to return his girlfriend Vicky's (Tara Reid) favor. And finally Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) decides that the best way to go about getting laid is to pay Heather (Mena Suvari) to sing his sexual praises.

Like all plans that virgins have to deprive themselves of their predicament, they inevitably go awry. As in any comedy of errors, the how is the funny part, and thus I can't tell you. What I can tell you, however, is that the movie takes every crude joke it can get and then takes a few intelligent ones. For a good description, imagine There's Something about Mary with a pastry and a flute.

The film isn't for virgins, because they won't at all respect the jokes in there. American Pie, although over the top, is remarkably true-to-life as far as how we all grow up. It brings back memories of those awkward talks with Dad, those even more awkward moments of foreplay, the rumors, the insanity, and the crazy desire to act cool while you fail utterly. As far as any guy or girl past highschool goes: we've been there before.

Despite the fact that our own personal demons may be more or less frightening, and we may or may not want to revisit that bizarre quest to psychosexual maturity, American Pie's ability to strike a common chord is part of its great charm. Because we've been there before, we can get all the jokes, immediately relate to the characters (who represent all of the high school sets from jock to nerd), and love the movie all the more. The kids that had snuck in or were going with their carded friends or boyfriends didn't laugh nearly as much... or as hard... as everyone who was of age.
American Pie is this year's funniest sex comedy for sure and probably this years funniest film period. Crude, rude, and in the groove, it's not one to miss.

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