Jason Biggs
Shannon Elizabeth
Alyson Hannigan
Chris Klein
Natasha Lyonne
Thomas Ian Nicholas
Tara Reid
Mena Suvari
Eddie Kaye Thomas
Seann William Scott
Eugene Levy

Paul Weitz



Time: 95 mins.
Rating: R
Genre: Teen Comedy

I can't say that this is one of my favorite sexual awakening/"let's get laid" high school flicks, but it certainly has its charm. That's due to the honesty of emotion the fairly unknown cast brings to the table. The four leading young men portray these horny high schoolers with a little more class than in previous coming of age films. Sure, they want to have sex, but for other reasons than just to see a girl naked. Don't get me wrong there's plenty of doghouse behavior, these are teenage boys after all, but the women in this film hold the power of their own sexuality and that makes AMERICAN PIE a little more interesting. Though the quest is for the guys to lose their virginity by prom, there's much less nudity and sex in this film than you would expect. It's much grosser than it's precursors like FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH, my first rated R film, but the amount of bare skin is about the same.

What everyone's up in arms about I have no idea. This movie is not introducing a whole new topic teenagers were unaware of before. Believe me, they already want to have sex, a movie will not create that urge. Especially, one as earnestly made as AMERICAN PIE. The leads played by Biggs, Klein, Nicholas and Thomas, are rather average if not somewhat geeky guys who want to experience sex, but would also like to actually have a relationship with a girl, any girl. Their yearning is innocent enough, though their methods are typically male. A naked girl would be great. One they could see on a regular basis, even better. After an all night party, they decide to make a pact doing whatever it takes to help each other get laid. They only have three weeks to make it happen, so time is of the essence.

Jim (Biggs) is the most inexperienced of the four. He has a crush on Nadia (Elizabeth), a hot foreign exchange student, but has never even been able to say hello to her without looking like a complete idiot. Kevin (Nicholas) has been dating Vicki (Reid) for quite a while, and though they've fooled around a lot, they've never gone all the way. Oz (Klein) is the jock of the group, but even he has been unsuccessful with the ladies. He decides to join the school's jazz choir in the hopes of scoring with some fresh blood. Finch can't even use the school restroom, never mind being able to ask anybody out.

"You realize we're all going to go to college as virgins. They probably have special dorms for people like us."

Most of the film is spent on their pathetic attempts to get their various love interests into bed. Even with each other's help, they all fail miserably. These women are not your average easy chicks. They want a little respect with their nooky. They're smart enough to know their high school flings won't last forever and they're not about to put out without some amount of caring...even if it is for one night. In the end, they all get what they wanted, but it's not exactly what any of them expected. The boys take something away from their "first times" that make them better men.

Though this film has a deeper message than most teen exploitation movies, it is a comedy first and foremost. I didn't laugh all the way through – too many of the good jokes were in the trailer – but there were some classic, uncomfortable teen moments that will make you glad you're an adult. Eugene Levy as Jim's father is priceless. He practically steals the show. Jason Biggs stands out in this film mainly because he humiliates himself the most, which also makes him incredibly endearing. He reminds me of a young David Schwimmer. Hopefully, he can carve out a better film career. If you like teen sex comedies, you'll probably thoroughly enjoy AMERICAN PIE. The outrageously raunchy moments are balanced by scenes of true friendship and burgeoning romance. In the end, PIE falls somewhere between the classic angst of FAST TIMES and the sheer stupidity of PORKY'S. Either way, it's an amusing trek into the humiliating horrors and simple joys of trying to find love in the hallways of high school.

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