American Pie

on July 09, 1999 by Annlee Ellingson
"There's Something About Mary" set in high school this is not. The humor, suffering from trailer overexpsoure, isn't nearly as hilarious or vulgar, and the cast of unknowns and up-and-comers lacks precision timing. But ultimately this story about four high school seniors who make a pact to hit a homerun before they graduate is as warm and sweet as its title.
Mortified that a fellow classmate (Chris Owen), self-dubbed the Shermanator, has sex before they do, Jim (Jason Biggs), Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), Oz (Chris Klein) and Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) go about securing themselves a slice of the action in a variety of ways. Jim thinks he's hit the big time when the super hot foreign exchange student comes over to his house to study, but he soon discovers he's in over his head. Kevin, on the other hand, has a steady girlfriend and just has to convince her to go all the way, either by employing the big L (love) or the big O ( know). Lacrosse star Oz joins jazz choir, citing it an untapped resource for hot chicks, and sophisticated Finch spreads a rumor about his considerable equipment and prowess.
"American Pie" scores bonus points for its three-dimensional female characters, particularly Alyson Hannigan's geeky flute player. The "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" star's role is initially disappointing as she bores her classmates with endless stories from band camp, but her unexpected wild side is a pleasant surprise to both the audience and a certain male lead.
In the end, our four protagonists see varying degrees of success. But more importantly, they realize that there's more to high school and girls and relationships than getting laid-an edifying ending that makes this an unexpected summer date movie. Starring Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Chris Klein, Natasha Lyonne, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Tara Reid, Mena Suvari and Eddie Kaye Thomas. Directed by Paul Weitz. Written by Adam Herz. Produced by Warren Zide, Craig Perry, Chris Moore and Chris Weitz. A Universal release. Comedy. Rated R for strong sexuality, crude sexual dialogue, language and drinking, all involving teens. Running time: 95 min.
Tags: Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Chris Klein, Natasha Lyonne, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Tara Reid, Mena Suvari, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Directed by Paul Weitz, Written by Adam Herz, Produced by Warren Zide, Craig Perry, Chris Moore, Chris Weitz, A Universal release, Comedy, foreign, exchange, students, band camp

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