Buggles review

American Pie

Director: Paul Weitz
Starring: Jason Biggs, Tara Reid, Shannon Elizabeth, Chris Klein

You know, looking over the list of films that I extrapolate upon with this Reviews section, I become a bit embarrassed. I mean, I like to think of myself as a well-cultured sort of guy, but all the cinema listed here are basically profane indulgences of America’s lust for either sex or violence. I don’t really come across as the educated, refined individual that I am, one who would prefer a night of My Diner With Andre to Cyborg Cop III. However, I’m pleased to say that it all changes with my review of American Pie.

\Well, perhaps not. American Pie is, after all, merely yet another reinvention of the teen sex comedy genre, a class of film that reached its pinnacle with George Lucas’ American Graffiti and slowly devolved to less spirited endeavors such as She’s All That. However, as teen sex comedies go, American Pie is pretty damn funny. While watching it I found myself thinking, "This is like Porky’s, only funny." Indeed, American Pie does owe a lot to such series as the Porky’s and Meatball trilogies. Following their lead, American Pie focuses on young men in high school who can’t get laid (the types of young men who grow up to direct films about young men who can’t get laid… or host self absorbed web sites) and follows the series of wacky hijinx bound to decorate their quest for the capital V. Nothing ground breaking, but it’s been so long since someone has done this plot right that there’s something refreshing about the American Pie experience.

I must confess that I found some of the jokes either too juvenile or too cliché to warrant laughter. (At one point, one of the characters gets even with another by - get this - putting a laxative in his coffee!) Nonetheless there are plenty of genuine yucks here and there’s something genuinely heartening about a film based upon the premise that even in the nineties, guys in high school still can’t get laid. Amidst the onslaught of coy Britney Spears videos, Neve Campbell cinema sex fests, and the Columbine massacre you’d think the only time teenagers weren’t having a ten-way orgy is when they’re dodging slugs from a Mack-10. But American Pie seems to report that the state of the American high school is pretty much as we left it (at least the suburban, upper-middle class sector, to which these films always seem to narrow their focus) : Guys drool and chicks rule.

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