American Pie Review

by Ram Samudrala (me AT ram DOT org)
August 25th, 2001

American Pie

When I saw the previews for /American Pie/, I thought it was over-rated. When I saw the film, my opinion didn't change much. Sure, there are a few laughs here and there, but in my view, it isn't of the same calibre as /There's Something About Mary/, /Austin Powers/ or /South Park/.

The problem for me with films like this is the theme: I just don't get a kick out of high school seniors on a crusade to lose their virginity (compare this to a super secret agent who is set up with an eeeeevil nemesis out to take over the world). The seniors in question are Jim (Jason Biggs), Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas), and Oz (Chris Klein). The objects of Jason's affections are Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth) and when he blows it, literally and figuratively, Michelle (Alyson Hannigan); Kevin is going out with Vicky (Tara Reid) but still a virgin; Oz is after Heather (Mena Suvari); and Finch lusts after the mother (Jennifer Coolidge) of a friend, Stifler (Seann William Scott).

The four make a pact to have sex before they leave high school. To this end, each develops a scheme that would enable them to sate their desires, but it eventually backfires on them with amusing consequences. The gags are good, but not great. For example, the semen gag doesn't compare to the one in /There's Something About Mary/ or the coffee gag in /Austin Powers/. The laxative gag is okay but nothing innovative. The Internet video camera gag has great potential but it doesn't go for the jugular. So many missed opportunities.
Still, /American Pie/ is a funny movie, and will most likely appeal to those who are sentimental about their high school days. Worth a rental.

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