ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Review: American Pie

Updated on November 21, 2011

rating:

3 out of 5 stars

"So high school boys everywhere only think about sex, huh?" my Japanese wife said about 20 minutes into American Pie. She looked at me expectantly, as if she wanted to hear me say that I was somehow different, above such worldly pursuits. I could tell she was mildly disappointed when I replied, "Yeah, pretty much." Eighteen-year-old boys' raging hormones is a truly universal theme.

There have been three American Pie films to date, not counting the straight-to-video releases, and a fourth installment is due for April 2012. Anticipating the newest film in the series, I've decided to go back and revisit the first, which I fist saw as a sophomore in high school.

The film notably struck a chord with teens when it was released. I remember sitting in art class and overhearing a popular and attractive senior girl condescending to an awkward and geeky freshman boy, "You haven't seen American Pie? The great American sex comedy?" I still cringe when I remember that.

If you haven't seen it, it is basically about four senior boys who make a pact to lose their virginity before they graduate high school. They shrewdly determine that prom is their last chance to get laid, and devote all their energy to getting a woman in bed at the after-prom party, to be held at the lake house of the cocky lacrosse player, Steve Stifler. The boys, particularly Jim, have a series of embarrassing mishaps along the way, one famously involving a warm apple pie.

American Pie set a new bar for teen comedies. Every teen comedy since has tried, and failed, to top the scene where Stifler unwittingly drinks a beer with a load of semen in it.

Though American Pie is famous for its numerous gross-outs, the movie is good, and not just gross, because we come to identify with the characters, and the humor rises naturally from the situations. The scene where Stifler slips laxatives into Finch's mochaccino, causing him to make a desperate dash for the nearest toilet, is funny not because fart sounds are humorous, but because the film already established Finch's aversion toward public restrooms.

The Stifler character was especially believable. When Heather (Mena Suvari) asks out Oz (Chris Klein) in front of the lacrosse team, Stifler proceeds to make lewd gestures. Heather misinterprets this as Stifler making fun of her, when Stifler was really just trying to embarrass Oz. When I first saw the film at the age of 16, I thought, That's pretty much how high school boys act.

The acting is serviceable. Eugene Levy, who plays Jim's dad, and Seann William Scott, who plays Steve Stifler, are totally convincing in their roles. (Toward the end of the film, watch Stifler in the background check his beer before he takes a sip.) Others, however, give flat performances, especially in dramatic scenes. However, since these scenes take back seat to the comedy, and few of the jokes fall flat from the acting, the mediocre performances don't hurt the overall effectiveness of the film.

Another criticism I have of the film is one that pretty much applies to all Hollywood films, and that is that the kids are too rich. You can usually tell who the poor kid is in a Hollywood movie because he's the one who's not driving a late-model car. His family will still live in a two-storey house. Every student in American Pie (except for Oz, the only one shown to have a job), lives like the richest kid at my high school.

Overall, American Pie is an enjoyable comedy that will continue to be the standard against which all teen comedies will be judged. I recommend the unrated version. While scenes in most unrated or extended editions were cut from the theatrical releases for good reasons (i.e., they were tedious), the theatrical version of American Pie was really a sanitized version of the better, unrated version.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)