Projections - Movie Reviews

American Pie 2

American Pie 2

The formula for 1999's very successful teen sex comedy that induced shocking hilarity as a new generation's answer to Porky's, American Pie has been reheated and served up with a similar recipe for innocence and tastelessness that was good for a big opening as American Pie.

Of course as in Scary Movie 2, which features vulgar humor as its main selling point, this sequel starring Jason Biggs as the nebbish, still unconfident Jim, is out because of its predecessor's domestic gross of $100 million plus.

Pie 2 has a new director, J.B. Rogers, who has worked with the Farrelly Brothers as an assistant on many of their films, and showed an attentiveness to grossness and inhumanity in his debut earlier this year, Say It Isn't So, which starred one of the prime-time young male stars of Pie, Chris Klein, back as Jim's clean-cut buddy, Oz.

It's notable that here's a sequel with the entire cast back, though with more uneven screen time.  The women, especially Shannon Elizabeth's voluptuous Czech exchange student Nadia and Tara Reed's chic Vicky seem to make appearances rather than co-star, as well as Mena Suvari's commitment minded Heather, who literally phones in most of her part.

The opening will be quite familiar to anyone who regularly visits a multiplex, as the trailer is expanded to have Jim's dad, played with humorous quirky liberal mindedness by Eugene Levy (Best In Show) pop in on Jim and a college girlfriend Natalie (Joelle Carter) in his dorm room at the worst time.

The screenplay has the gang which includes Thomas Ian Nicholas' Kevin and Eddie Kay Thomas' 40ish type, Finch renting out a summer beach house on Lake Michigan for their vacation at the suggestion of Kevin's brother (Casey Affeck).

Thus, in their new spacious pad they can attract women on the beach and hopefully get the same action they did before high school graduation.  Stifler is invited because of his ability to help with the high rent for their place.  They earn money by painting houses, one of which contains two sexy women.

American Pie 2 is filled with all sorts of naughty humor.  Hannigan (TV's Buffy) has more of a role for her impulsive, yet wise band geek who gets Jim talking like her.  Klein endows Oz with a boyish romantic quality that has his scenes with the lonesome Heather taking up some pleasuring conversation, albeit short, like Suvari's part, with him.

The women are in control of their sexual assertiveness and the cool Jessica (Natasha Lyonne) who's still good friends with Vicky mentioning the "Rule of Three."  It states that guys exaggerate on how many women they've slept with by a factor of three, and from Stifler's standpoint it means that a girl has bedded three times as many guys as she says she's had.  So, that doesn't work too well in the "just friends" now relationship between Kevin and Vicky.

With all the sexual politics and partying, as Rogers shows copious teen drinking and sluttish activity, American Pie 2 is all in its spacey, rude fun that takes charge to make sure that everyone has someone as it seems to emphasize the importance of being yourself.

This sequel which basically reworks the same ideas that made American Pie endearing is more diagrammed even with "the girls being the ones who make the rules."  And having Suvari studying abroad for the summer, Reid more independent minded and Elizabeth back in a different way, this crudely drawn, comedy of sex and romance can't hardly wait to have the guys realize the importance of sticking together, especially for Jim, as his odd, but understanding dad knows by handing him what he needs.

American Pie 2