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IN SHORT: Good dirty fun. [Rated R, 100 minutes]
Whereas last week's South Park:Bigger Longer & Uncut aimed for a soup to nuts comedy smorgasbord of bodily functions and verbal impoliteness, brothers Chris and Paul Weitz aim right for the nuts (so to speak) in their first film, American Pie. Innuendo aside, they deliver a very funny hundred minutes of humiliating humor, all detailing the efforts of a small group of high school seniors to lose the millstone that is FirstSex. FirstSex being the most traumatic experience of our young lives, let us now journey back to those halcyon days from the safety of a movie seat, shielded by large popcorn, bladder busting soda and candy of choice, and enjoy the utter humiliation, embarrassment and self-soiling of the pimple spotted pasty faced wankers at East Great Falls High.
When it evokes nostalgia for the anxious hell we all went through, it's normal to laugh at trauma, especially when it belongs to someone else. Grab the popcorn, folks. Let's meet our wankers . . .
Wanker Number One is Jim (Jason Biggs), who has an intimate, personal relationship with his tube socks. Told by his friends that "third base feels like warm Apple pie" (Cranky remembers it as "What the Hell is That???" but it was a long time ago...) and, not having Saddam Hussein's chance in Hell to get any, decides to experiment. Luckily, his dad (Eugene Levy) is, shall we say, understanding.
Wanker Number Two is Keanu Reeves lookalike Oz (Chris Klein, previously seen in the highly recommended Election), ace lacrosse player and self-styled stud who boasts the nickname "Casanova". Which means he ain't gettin' any. Wanker number Three is Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) who won't patronize the school bathroom facilities. And Number Four, who is best described as "most likely not to have to wank in the near future" is Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), who has a lovely blonde girlfriend (Tara Reid) and a problem with pronouncing those three little words that would unlike the Gates of Happiness.
When Super Geek Chuck Sherman (Chris Owen, one of the standouts from October Sky) gets lucky after a swell party thrown by hip jock Stifler (Seann W. Scott), our Foursome of Failure swear a pact: Each is going to make his piece by Senior prom or else.... (or else they'll spend their lives sitting solo in a movie theater writing reviews about movies about what they didn't get at their Senior Prom twenty years before. But I digress...)
What they do to achieve their ends, and the spectacular failures they produce along the way (think livecasting your attempt on the Internet, for example) are gutbuster funny. Cranky can't speak for teen tastes, but all of us older folks at the sneak of American Pie enjoyed it mightily. Honestly, Cranky dreaded the thought of another teen-targeted sex comedy, but American Pie connects like the great teenflicks of the past, Porky's for example. Or my beloved Animal House. American Pie lacks the drug humor of House and actually has a moral ending, but we can ignore those "failings".
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to American Pie, he would have paid...
Better than your average date flick. Both the grown up ladies and gents were heartily cackling. Go. Laugh.
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