Runtime: 1 Hour
and 35 Minutes
When the plot to "American Pie" became apparent, I wanted
to throw my hands up in the air. It's about four high school seniors
who make a pact to lose their virginity by the time they leave for
college. I expected a dumb "Porky's" style of movie, and
admittedly, a lot of the humor is on par.
But something unexpected happened along the way. The characters grow
up, and by the end of the movie, the laughs are fewer but the story
better. Thank God. This type of movie has been done a hundred times
before, and they're usually quite bad.
The four teenagers are: Jim (Jason Biggs), who's got a thing for a
foreign exchange student, and gets caught doing undescribable things
in his bedroom and the kitchen; Oz (Chris Klein), your stereotypical
jock with little upstairs, but who's willing to learn; Kevin (Thomas
Ian Nicholas), who's dating the cute Vicky (Tara Reid) and wants to
finally round third base and head for home; And Finch (Eddie Kaye
Thomas), the snobbish student who has a smarter approach to the pact.
Yes, there are laughs. Sometimes it's low-class toilet humor that
works, and other times it's just fun dialogue and situations. There
are two characters who get laughs just by showing up on the screen.
The first is Jim's dad (Eugene Levy), who tries his best, but fails,
to deal with his son's raging hormones. The other is Michelle (Alyson
Hannigan), the geeky band flute player who talks like a six-year-old
trying to tell a story.
There are two scenes in particular that are unbelievably good. The
first is the opening sequence where Jim's parents walk in on him at
a bad time. The second is when Jim's attempt to score gets broadcasted
to the entire school, and he can't complete the task...twice.
On the flipside, some of the jokes just don't work, and I expected
more laughs. The scene with the "spiked" beer just wasn't
funny. A handful of the one-liner quips just evaporate into thin air.
The laxative joke has been done before, and better.
Despite the wackiness, the first thing to come to mind when I recall
this movie is the maturity of the characters at the end. They'll all
learn that it's not about scoring, and one will genuinely fall in
love (in a subplot that's just warm and cute). "American Pie"
could have wandered into dopey "Porky's" territory, but
takes enough turns toward the mature to avoid a real mess.