Four friends make a pact to lose their virginity on prom night.
American Pie (1999)
Directed by Paul Weitz
Written by Adam Herz
Starring Jason Biggs, Chris Klein, Thomas Ian Nicholas,
Eddie Kaye Thomas, Alyson Hannigan, Mena Suvari,
Tara Reid, Shannon Elizabeth, Seann William Scott,
Eugene Levy, Natasha Lyonne, Jennifer Coolidge
It's nothing short of a goddamn miracle that I made it all through high school and college without ever even catching a glimpse of the American Pie franchise. Somehow, it escaped me, and now I'm finally embarking on a long overdue watch. I gotta say, I was surprised on many levels. I couldn't believe how well it holds up. It barely feels dated at all, considering it's 20 years old this year. Also, amidst the gross-out humor and sex jokes, there's a poignant message of love and friendship that's hidden away. It comes out at times and enhances the film greatly.
The story is simple enough. Four friends, tired of being unable to score, make a pact to lose their virginity on prom night. Jim (Jason Biggs), Oz (Chris Klein), Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), and Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) then begin an epic journey to get laid, no matter what. And it's pretty hilarious. Watching these four attempt to score leads to some classic moments, especially the many scenes where Jim's dad (Eugene Levy) attempts to bond with his son by discussing masturbation, among other things. By the film's end, all four have grown as people and learned that forming relationships matter, and now that high school is over, everything will change forever. It's a moment that dawned or will dawn on most of us, and it truly does mark the end of an era. I felt that this film captured that moment like lightning in a bottle.
I expected far less than I got with American Pie. It's a cult comedy classic that has earned its reputation as one of the definitive teen comedies of all time. I look forward to tackling the sequels, although I'll likely avoid the direct-to-DVD spin-offs. But this film is solid and I'll probably watch it again at some point. It was a happy surprise.