American Pie Review

by Kent Johnson (kjohnson AT slip DOT net)
July 29th, 1999

USA, 1999
Directed by Paul Weitz
Written by Adam Herz

Well, I did know better, but I was curious, went anyway and I got what I deserved -- the reaffirmation that I'm not eighteen any more.

For adults, while there are funny moments in this film about four high school guys who vow to end their virginity before their impending graduation in three weeks, overall the jokes and dialog are not sharp or clever enough and the movie just rates an OK.

But this isn't a movie for adults. It's a comedy for teenagers and as such, it's a good one. Teens can see and identify with their real non-idealized selves up there on the screen and will find the over-obvious, gross, embarrassing and sexual humor to be hilarious. The dialog is dumb, but realistic, since real teens aren't exactly fountains of wit. And contrary to most teen films, the six male characters don't break down into simplistic good and bad guys -- they're all pretty much clueless dweebs (which certainly echoes my high school experience) and the worst ones are jerks, but those can still be part of your social circle.

The film's R rating is one of those ironies that occurs frequently in the American censorship system -- it makes it difficult for a large portion of the film's target audience to actually see the film. (It's not exactly a film you'd enjoy watching with your Mom.) Perhaps it will reach its intended audience on video.

One scene that adults *can* totally enjoy is when Alyson Hannigan (Willow from the TV series BUFFY, THE VAMPIRE SLAYER), who plays a mousy, motormouth band dweeb constantly telling boring stories about band camp, suddenly does a 180-degree turn and says to her prom date "And then there was the time I stuck a flute in my pussy." As her date spurts out his beer, she tells him that band camp is really more of a sex ed camp. Then she says something like "Are we going to fuck soon? I'm getting bored." In the bedroom, she reveals she chose him for the prom simply because he was a Sure Thing. Now dominantly aggressive, riding on top of him, she yells "What's my name?" slaps him and shouts "Say my name, bitch!"

Another good one is when one girl is quizzing another about her lack of orgasmic experience and says "Not even a manually-assisted one? You mean you've never double-clicked your mouse?"

Highly recommended for teenagers (particularly males).
Worth a video rental for adult Willow fans.
May or may not be worth a video rental for other adults.


Kent Johnson
San Francisco
[email protected]

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