American Pie



Singer-songwriter Don McLean wants you to know that he had nothing to do with the movie American Pie. Even though he gave permission for the film to use the name of his classic rock standard, it doesn’t even show up on the sound track. And that makes sense because the song is much too poignant to be a part of this high school sex circus, which would have been better complemented by a dance remix of the commercial jingle "Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Getting Laid."

As all-American as it may seem, there is nothing nostalgic about American Pie. This coming-of-age flick is stuck blindly re-creating old clichés for its own time. Four guys are determined to score at an after-prom party, but they can’t even wait for the big night. And occupying their libidos in the meantime is supposed to make enough chunky fruit filling to pack an entire movie.

The first scene shows one of the restless virgin seniors (Jason Biggs) in his average teenage room "stroking the salami," as his father puts it, while watching the moving cubist porn of a scrambled cable sex channel. When his parents walk in unannounced, it takes a while, but they finally get it. One would think the pillow in the kid’s lap and cries of "ride me, big cowboy" blaring from the television might have clued them in sooner. But the important thing is that, while Mom and Dad are flustered, they’re not totally disgusted by the sight of their son’s erect penis jutting out of his boxers and covered by a tube sock.

Welcome to free teen sexploration in an environment where the folks are usually just a bedroom door away from all the fun, but choose to remain in sweet oblivion.

American Pie gives equal opportunity to both parent and teen stereotypes, but it sometimes gives them a new twist. The band nerd is a nymphomaniac. The intellectual guy carries a thermos of mochaccino, speaks Latin and refuses to use the school bathroom for anything that requires sitting. And the handsome jock joins the glee club. But not even character diversity earns the movie the blue ribbon it’s looking for.

In the end, it’s all party scenes splattered with diarrhea, vomit and various misplaced body fluids. And by the time all the characters are paired off to get their first piece, the viewer doesn’t really care about the long string of adolescent pranks and off-the-wall jokes that got them there.

The soon-to-be-famous pastry loving scene is probably the only five minutes of this movie anybody will be laughing about in the lunchroom or at the office. And even that is bound to lose its glaze. There’s Something About Mary and South Park have already made great gross-out moments that are better executed and more memorable.

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