Trilogy Thursday: American Pie
Hi everyone, Max from Impassionedcinema and Clair from Cinematic Delights are back to talk about another trilogy. This time we tackle The American Pie Trilogy of films. This series is filled with romance and raunchy comedy, but always manages to bring a smile like good ol’ American Pie.
Max: Maybe I wasn’t enough of a rebel, but it was a long time until I actually saw American Pie for the first time. The fact that American Pie lived up to all my expectations surprised me. This movie started an iconic series about high school seniors who want to lose their virginity before going away to college. The romantic focus is on three different pairs, Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) / Vicky (Tara Reid), Jim (Jason Biggs) / Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth), and Oz (Chris Klein) / Heather (Mena Suvari). This allows the audience to follow each pair and get their favorites. Easily the most for-filling of the romances of the first film, Oz/Heather really take the spotlight here. The thing American Pie is most known for is it’s gross-out comedy. You’ll see plenty of uncomfortable moments with beer cups and apple pies, that I can guarantee.
Claire: Every now and then a film comes along that you should definitely not watch with your parents! In 1999, that film was Paul and Chris Weitz’s American Pie, starring Jason Biggs, Chris Klein and Seann William Scott. The plot revolves around one main theme: the gang’s pact to lose their virginity before their high school graduation.
American Pie follows the usual codes and conventions that we have now come to expect from a teen film. There are all the usual characters that you’d expect to see, including the Jock (Klein) and the Band Geek (Alyson Hannigan). It’s great comedy, though not for everyone, particularly your parents!
Max: The whole cast is back for American Pie 2. After their first year of college all the men return home and realize not much has changed in their lives. They decide to rent a beach house so they can throw their parties. Not surprisingly, the raunchy comedy is back. Having to watch Stifler (Seann William Scott) kiss Jim or Jim’s unfortunate problem with glue, it continues to be painful to watch. This time Jim really comes out of the background into the featured character in the series. He discovers that he is in love with Michelle (Alyson Hannigan), who had an exciting one-night stand with after prom in the first film. This brings a wild conclusion to the developing triangle of Jim/Michelle/Nadia.
Claire: After the boys – Jim (Jason Biggs), Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), Oz (Chris Klein) and Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) – return from their first year at college they decide to head out of town and spend their summer at a rented beach house. Class clown Stifler (Seann William Scott) tags along as the boys need one more person in order to cover the cost.
Jim, Finch and Kevin are still currently single though Oz is still seeing Heather (Mean Suvari). Oversexed Stifler is also very much single and it is him who causes the majority of the gags as the boys try to get ‘friendly’ with the locals. It goes without saying that this will be one summer they never forget!
Max: American Wedding could’ve easily been a cash-in. The cast is diminished quite a bit. According to Wikipedia, Chris “Oz” Ostreicher (Chris Klein), Chuck Sherman (Chris Owen), Heather (Mena Suvari), Vicky (Tara Reid), Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth), Matt Stifler (Eli Marienthal), Jessica (Natasha Lyonne), and Tom Myers (Casey Affleck) failed to appear in American Wedding. That’s a huge chunk of the cast. Let it be known then, that while the other cast members are missed, American Wedding doesn’t disappoint. It continues the high standard of raunchy comedy the franchise maintained over the previous films. The focus of American Wedding is of course the wedding between Jim and Michelle. Stifler also gets a lot of screen time as the ever constant butt of jokes. This was the first film in the American Pie franchise that I saw and it inspired me to see the rest.
Claire: Of the three I am most unfamiliar with American Wedding. In fact, I think I’ve only seen it all the way through once, and that was a long time ago – I would have bought a copy in order to write a more thorough review but I’ve been cutting back on my DVD buying and I wasn’t sure when I’d watch it again!
From what I remember, the hilarity continues as two of the gang, Jim and Michelle, get married. Nothing runs smoothly, of course, including Jim’s proposal. Well, having your would-be fiancée hear your intentions while performing fellatio on you under a table isn’t what most people plan…
Max: The American Pie series is one of the most satisfying comedy series ever. There have been others that have tried sequels to an amazingly successful premier, but have failed miserably (see: The Hangover PtII). At times it can be tough to watch due to the gross out humor, but American Pie always hits all the emotional cords. The first film is probably my favorite, but they are very equal in quality that any of the films is a great watch. American Reunion has a tough standard to live up to when it comes out later this year.
Claire: American Pie is definitely my favorite out of the series. While it was enjoyable to see what mishaps the gang got themselves up to post-high school, I found American Pie and the high school setting the most enjoyable. When I first watched it I thought it was funny, rude and that all American high schools and students were like this. However, looking at it again from a more seasoned film blogger’s point of view, I’ve found that American Pie is actually a very well written and well-crafted film.
Other Films in the Trilogy Thursday Series: