Its rude, crude and
lewd. Its got T&A, oozing body fluids and, surprisingly, lots of
heart. American Pie is this summers Theres Something
About Mary, but as with 1982s Porkys, its aimed
firmly at the crotches and dirty minds of teens. Thankfully, the movie is also
very entertaining stuff.
American Pie serves up a group of high
schoolers (Biggs, Klein, Nicholas and Thomas) itching to lose their virginity
by prom night. This leads to all sorts of deliciously deviant behaviour, from
ejaculating prematurely twice during an Internet-broadcast tryst
with an exotic exchange student (Elizabeth) and masturbating into the eponymous
defenceless pie to the gross-out drinking of a semen-laced beer.
Though not nearly as observant as Fast Times
at Ridgemont High, a film that truly captured its era, American Pie
has spirit to spare. And, unlike the recent Drop Dead Gorgeous,
its mercifully not in awe of its own wit and the laughs seem intended to
amuse the audience, not the film-makers.
Even better, American Pie makes great
use of its female characters. Elizabeth may be the resident sex bomb, but
shes no dummy. Mena Suvari winningly plays a sweet choir girl who
introduces lacrosse stud Klein to love rather than sex, while Buffy the
Vampire Slayers Alyson Hannigan goes delightfully against type as a
mousy, chatterbox band nerd who has a way with a flute.
On the testosterone side, Biggs comes off as an
inspired dork, while Thomas is both creepy and likable, and Klein so
good in Election shines again here, particularly in his sweet
scenes with Suvari. Providing a touch of adult perspective, Eugene Levy is
ideal as Biggss patient if exasperated father, who does his damnedest to
teach his boy about sex.
To be sure, Pie isnt perfect.
Its far from original and though often a riot and decidedly un-PC, it
never feels quite real, either. You know from frame one that youre in a
movie peopled by razor-thin stock characters: the dork, jock, babe, angelic
virgin and the experienced girl (the ever-colourful Natasha Lyonne reworking
Phoebe Catess Fast Times role). And despite a couple of unexpected
twists, the assorted outcomes are too pat, with obvious and simplistic lessons
learned by all.
If youre looking for a lewd, crude
knockabout with plenty of laughs, you could do worse than take a bite of this