Nov 302004
 

American Pie 2 (2001)

The continuing bawdy adventures of a group of friends reuniting after their first year of college.

Directed by
James B. Rogers

Genres
Comedy

Cast
Jason Biggs, Shannon Elizabeth, Alyson Hannigan, Chris Klein, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Natasha Lyonne, Tara Reid, Seann William Scott, Mena Suvari, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Chris Owen, Eugene Levy, Molly Cheek, Denise Faye, Lisa Arturo

I saw the movie in theaters and laughed out loud. I can’t say I got as many laughs as the first time, though, and I started to notice more flaws. At first I thought this movie was better than the original. Now I’m not sure. They both have great redeeming qualities that pretty much balance the scale.

The two films movie at a similar rhythm. In the original, we opened with Jim’s Dad walking in on him while masturbating. In the sequel, he walks in on him while he’s having sex, only it’s taken to the next level with the girlfriend’s parents walking in as well. And we have the keg party, with a Steadicam shot following Stiffler around, who yet again gets into a mishap with bodily fluids. And of course, in homage of the famous Nadia scene from the original, we have the guys walking in on two lesbians.

The laughs are still there, and there are some genuinely funny moments. I don’t want to give them away, though the previews and some of the other reviewers probably already did.

The cast still got it. Eugene Levy steals the show yet again as Jim’s Dad. I do have to say, Stiffler’s character got a little too obnoxious at times. It’s often funny to hear his foul-mouthed insults, but by the hundredth time you hear him use the word “f**kface” it gets kinda old.

I’m always going to hold the “American Pie” movies several notches above the standard gross-out teen comedies, because they have zest and originality. Not to mention they’re done in a professional manner. The gags are as intelligent as they are crude, and delivered with exquisite timing. And to top it off, it’s a heartfelt film that is not literally all about getting laid. I thought the original had more heart to it, but the sequel also has its heart in the right place.

The music is great. The soundtrack is full of really cool songs, including “Smooth Criminal” by Alien Ant Farm. And be sure to check out the unrated DVD special edition. The commentary is cool and–unlike with the first “American Pie” unrated edition–there is some bonus footage worth checking out. The lesbian scene is extended significantly. In the theatrical version, there was only a brief nudity, but you get to see much more in this version.

I’m still not sure if I would consider this movie better than the first, but it is one sequel that lives up to the original–and that’s saying a lot!

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