Reviewer's Rating 4 out of 5  
American Pie (1999)
15

Life for Jim (Jason Biggs) and his college friends has reached the stage that finally makes them interesting characters for a movie: they want to get laid. How many bad films has this plot-line generated? Plenty. But "American Pie" is refreshingly different.

Bizarrely enough, this movie goes way beyond the crudeness even of "Porky's" but without inducing the same feeling of revulsion from the viewer. "American Pie" 's deliberate casting of then relative unknown actors (selected to emulate such big stars as Jim Carrey and Keanu Reeves) works well. They all play flawed characters, but all, including the 'jocks', lack the nasty edge that is often traditional in such movies.

Director Paul Weitz plunges them into increasingly embarrassing situations as they take their first steps into sexual liberation. Their honest reactions, complete with humiliation and their attempts to shrug it all off, create surprisingly endearing kids. The plot is simply that they have all entered into a pact to score by the night of the prom. Their progress becomes increasingly fascinating as they fumble their way towards deep dark secrets about which they can only imagine.

The frustration of this ultimate mystery manifests itself in various forms, with the apple pie scene becoming a minor comedy classic in its own right. Sure, it's all crude and yucky, but the script is witty and the direction tight. The casting is spot on, and the use of such character actors as Eugene Levy, who plays Jim's embarrassing but well meaning father, is inspired.

Read a review of the DVD.

End Credits

Director: Paul Weitz

Writer: Adam Herz

Stars: Jason Biggs, Chris Klein, Seann William Scott, Natasha Lyonne, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Tara Reid, Mena Suvari, Eddie Kay Thomas, Eugene Levy

Genre: Comedy

Original: 1999

DVD: 13 March 2000

VHS: 13 March 2000

Country: USA

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