Continuing this summer's "films that provide shock value with a
message" trend is American Pie. Like it's compatriot South Park, American Pie provides a valiant point masked with toilet humor. American
Pie is funny and intelligent, but you'd never expect that based on first
impressions, especially with this film's ad campaign involving a pie.
Starring: Chris Klein, Jason Biggs, and Eddie
The film begins with a quartet of teenage boys making a pact to lose
their virginity by the time their senior prom rolls around. The catch?
The prom is three weeks away and only one of the guys has a girlfriend.
The film follows the exploits of these somewhat awkward, but mostly endearing
boys as they struggle to figure out how to accomplish their task without
seeming desperate, inexperienced or uncool.
Oz (Chris Klein) is the token
jock of the group. He "works the sensitive
angle" by joining the high school choir, which he feels is an "untapped
resource" for women. Fitch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) has found a unique
way to bolster his reputation as the "big man on campus." Jim
(Jason Biggs) is afraid to talk to a girl, much less do anything else.
However he has his sites on Nadia, a foreign exchange student, who asks
him to help her study.
Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas)
has a girlfriend, and she's even told him that she loves him, but he
doesn't feel right about the whole situation.
He wants sex, or thinks so, but she wants everything to be perfect before
they "do it."
At face value, this sounds like every inept teen sex comedy that's been
released since Animal House was crowned the champion of this genre in
1978. The main problem with most of the films that followed Animal
House is that they provided the sex and forgot the comedy, replacing it with
the gross-out factor instead. American Pie has a high gross-out quotient,
but it doesn't replace the comedy -- it accentuates it.
What I most enjoyed about American
Pie is that the female characters
are more than the two-dimensional sex objects seen in Porky's, The
Last American Virgin and movies of their ilk. In American Pie, the girls have
a few tricks up their sleeves as well, and they get to make sex objects
out of some of the men for a change.
Pie is a juvenile film to be sure, even though it's rated R,
but it's funny and intelligent too. One can't ask much more from a teen
Owen, who plays Sherman, can also be seen in Can't Hardly Wait, as
the Klepto Kid, and October Sky, as Quentin. (Source: The
Internet Movie Database)