Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Movie Review: American Pie

American Reunion, the fourth movie in the American Pie series comes to theaters April 6, 2012. I saw the trailer and was instantly excited for it. The gang from the films are back in town for their high school reunion. And, I assume that hilarity ensues at some point.

I am looking forward to checking this movie out because I feel like American Pie was one of the best in the "silly teen sex romp" genre that became popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In anticipation of the latest film, I recently viewed the first three films in the series: American Pie, American Pie 2, and American Wedding. I will be posting my thoughts on all three and will then eventually watch American Reunion. Here are my thoughts on part 1.

At its core, American Pie is a story about a group of high school friends who all try to lose their virginity on prom night. The film came out in 1999. They were high school seniors. In 1999, I was preparing to enter high school. Without going into a lot of detail, let's just say that I related a lot to the premise of the film when it first came out.

What makes American Pie more than a bunch of filthy jokes is the heart and warmth that comes through. The core group of friends, Jim (Jason Biggs), Oz (Chris Klein), Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), and Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) all have a chemistry together that draws you in. Throw in Sean William Scott's Stifler character for comic relief and you have a complete package.

The heart is there, but, of course, filthy jokes do abound. Jim's innocent mind gets warped when he is told that "third base" feels like "warm apple pie." Perhaps the most famous scene involves Jim's "alone time" with an apple pie his mom baked for him. Jim's dad, played to perfection by Eugene Levy catches him and, looking out for his child, says in his classic deadpan delivery "We'll just tell your mother we ate it all."

And, of course, there's the flute. Alyson Hannigan plays Michelle, an awkward band girl who starts every story with "This one time, at band camp..." which finally culminates at the end with the flute incident.

The Internet was just starting to become mainstream around the time this movie came out. Technology wise, American Pie doesn't really hold up too well, as most movies featuring computer screen shots don't. The 1999 Internet looks a lot different than 2012's Internet. When Jim is going to have uber-hot Nadia change clothes in his room after her dance practice, the idea is hatched to broadcast it over the Internet. Some watching the movie for the first time now may snicker as Kevin lets out a bewildered "You can do that?" But, it was a fairly novel idea at the time.

What really stands out in American Pie is the soundtrack. There is a lot of quality music, from a wide variety of artists. Watching the movie, you will hear Third Eye Blind, Tonic, Blink-182, Oleander, Harvey Danger, Hole, Dishwalla, Everclear, Norah Jones, Fatboy Slim, and Etta James to name a few. "Laid" by the band James has become the unofficial theme song of the film franchise, as it features prominently in them.

As a final note, I'm not sure if they created the term, but I do know that American Pie is where "MILF" first became popular, due to several of the guys having an infatuation with Stifler's mom.

American Pie is a great film. Like a lot of great films, a sequel was made. American Pie 2 was released in 2001. I'm not a huge fan. But, we'll get into that later.


  1. The original gang is back and still have the comedic timing they did 13 years ago, which is always fun no matter what. There isn't anything new or special about this entry into the series but for anyone who wants some nice 1999 nostalgia, then this is the perfect fit. Good review Chris. Funny movie, but not the most perfect send-off I was expecting for these guys.

  2. Thank you for your comment. I'm very excited about seeing the latest installment.