Thursday, July 18, 2013

100 Movies That Make Me Love Film - 29. American Pie 2

29. American Pie 2

When I was a kid my dad used to show me movies like Porkys and Hollywood Knights. This films were foul-mouthed and sex filled hard-R comedies about high school students fighting against the school system. By the time I was in Junior High the ‘teen flicks’ had turned into PG-13 films with mostly unrelatable characters. This doesn’t stop me from loving these films but except for Can’t Hardly Wait (which perfectly defined the 90’s teen generation) none of them really spoke to anyone.

Then as I was about to start high school American Pie came out and completely changed the game. These characters talked like us, they said fuck, they were open about sex and they weren’t ‘rallying against a system’. They were more focused on getting laid. After the original American Pie teen films would never be the same, it’s because of that 1999 original that a film like Superbad can exist today.

Rarely do sequels match or top their predecessors and most people would argue that American Pie 2 isn’t one of those films, but I disagree.

Unlike most films released with kids in mind American Pie 2 sends a message that you rarely see in films. It discusses the concept that some people peak in high school. In the past whenever this has been “discussed” it’s always been the ‘asshole jock’ character being a bald guy at 40 still wearing a letterman’s jacket.

American Pie 2 however has our like-able main characters trying to relieve high school glory, unsuccesfully. Jim who hasn’t had sex since Prom, trying to get with his high school crush. Kevin is desperately trying to get back with his high school girlfriend. Finch is still hung up on Stifler’s mom, Stifler’s trying to keep partying. Oz seems the most matured character compared to his original asshole jock role in the first film. 

Yes, it does suffer the cliche’ sequel problems. It tries to up the shock level and while the results are funny they come off forced and unrealistic (unlike the original that even at it’s most absurd still came off believable). 

American Pie 2 was the first DVD I ever received so for at least a week until I purchased a few more DVDs I just watched this repeatedly. It’s the reason I love special features like Commentary tracks (as the film has 5) and became sort of a yearly viewing for me now. It’s probably for those reasons (as well as just loving these characters) that I was way more excited for American Reunion than most other people.

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