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Movie Reviews

American Pie  

Cast

Jim (Jason Biggs)
Jim's Dad (Eugene Levy)
Michelle (Alyson Hannigan)
Oz (Chris Klein)
Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas)
Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas)

Directed by Paul Weitz

Written by Adam Herz

Rated R for strong sexuality, crude sexual dialogue, language, and drinking all involving teens.
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Running Time: 110 minutes Distributed by Universal
American Pie is a hilarious and brisk movie. The story revolves around four horny high school buddies journey to lose their virginity before they graduate from high school. Jim (Biggs) is a typical high school guy, whose dad (Levy) always interrupts him in the midst of his so-called manly pleasures. Kevin (Ian Nicholas) just can't find it in himself to tell his girlfriend that he loves her. Oz (Klein) is a jock lacrosse player who begins to get in touch with his sensitive side. Finally, there is Finch (Kaye Thomas) who has bad stomach problems and tries to buy the reputation of someone he is not. All of the guys interact with many different characters, such as the typical foul mouth high school punk Stifler, the new pretty foreign exchange student Nadia, and the memorable geeky band nerd Michelle (Hannigan). Each of the main characters led the viewers through a raw and funny tale of high school in the 90's.

This has been said to be the gross-out movie of the summer, in which it is. From the beginning to the end, the actions seen and the crude sexual dialogue is shocking and grotesque, but very funny. I have heard rumors of American Pie being this year's There's Something About Mary, it's not. Both films do have unbelievable and gross scenes, but the two movies have totally different themes. American Pie is about high school, something that everyone can relate to in seeing this film. No one under 17 should see this film, so don't sneak in underage teens. It is, however, a joy for us adults. Besides high school, the film does focus on puberty and maturity, a part of everyone's high school experience. American Pie evokes memories of other high school films like Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Porky's, but it is still a movie that's in a league of it's own.

The acting in American Pie is far better than by any other young actors I have seen recently in films. Some reminders of weak young actors are Freddie Prinze, Jr. (Wing Commander, She's All That) and James Van der Beek (Varsity Blues). In which She's All That and Varsity Blues were hits, and not bad films in general, but both had weak acting. In American Pie all the performances were believable, not like Van der Beek's weak country accent and acting in Varsity Blues. All four of the main actors were admirable. Jason Biggs (Jim) is a new comer that I believe will blossom in Hollywood. Thomas Ian Nicholas (Kevin), who was in Rookie of the Year a few years back, shows flexibility and maturity by moving from childhood in Rookie of the Year to teenager in American Pie. Eddie Kaye Thomas (Finch) seems like he will be a good character driven actor in the future. The spotlight falls on Chris Klein (Oz), who was seen earlier this summer in the dark comedy Election. Klein shows great range in American Pie, by going from muscle-bound punk to a caring and understanding human being.

Paul Weitz and Adam Herz, the creators of American Pie, also wrote last year's Antz if you can believe that. It also does reflect the range of imaginative storytelling these two writers have.

American Pie is a truly fun film to watch, but I believe it is focused on a distinct audience of 17-30 year olds, but not so much for parents because the society has changed so much that they will probably find it offensive.

Report Card Grade: B 07/13/99

Beastman's Movie Reviews
Joseph C Tucker
Copyright, 2000 Joseph C. Tucker, reprinted with kind permission.

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