American Pie

It's no secret that high school boys are horny. That's the basic premise of directors Chris and Paul Weitz's raunch fest American Pie, a sweet coming of age story wrapped in the same hilarious gross out comedy of There's Something About Mary. American Pie is one mark above the rest of teen movies that seem to flood the marketplace, taking away valuable screens from worthwhile movies. Pie is about four friends nearing the end of their high school years. Four friends who also happen to be virgins. They make a vow to lose their virginity by the end of the senior prom.

Jim (Jason Biggs) is the main protagonist. His efforts to woo women have fallen short of fruition. Jim's Dad (Eugene Levy from SCTV) is perfect as the dad who doesn't quite know how to articulate the finer points of the birds and the bees to his son. Jim's friends Oz (Chris Klein from Election), Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas), and Kevin (Thomas Ian Nichols) are having similar problems. Oz, the stereotypical jock, joins choir to try to find new women. Jim becomes enraptured by Czech exchange student Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth), and Finch tries to move further down the bases with his girlfriend Vicky (Tara Reid, Urban Legend). Alyson Hannigan (Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Natasha Lyonne (Slums of Beverly Hills) and Mena Suvari also have wonderful roles.

This movie is so effective because deep down, we can relate to these guys. Fortunately, hopefully, none of us ever sunk down to the levels that Jim and company did. Watching what these guys do is hilarious and painful at the same time. What makes this movie worthwhile is that it actually has some meaning behind it. Really. Hidden amongst the toilet humor (by now you have probably heard of scenes involving a pie), writer Adam Herz actually managed to infuse some meaning to the story that, ultimately, makes these characters seem even more realistic. Much like the aforementioned Mary and the overlooked SLC Punk, a good movie first and foremost starts with a good story. You can surround it with violence and profanity (SLC Punk) or bottom scraping humor that is both disgusting and riotously funny, but in the end, if you have no real plot, your movie will not be worth anyone's time.

Haro rates it: Pretty Good
1 hour, 35 minutes, Rated R for sexuality, sexual dialogue, language and drinking (because they're teens).

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