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Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> July 1999 >> American Pie

American Pie

Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Scott's Rating:
4 / 5
Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
July 1999
IMDB Name:
American Pie (1999)
Paul Weitz
MPAA Rating:
R for strong sexuality, crude sexual dialogue, language and drinking, all involving teens.

Sweet Teens

American Pie is a cute movie with extraordinarily likable characters. They go through some significant silliness, but they pull through surprisingly well. With few exceptions, the cast is full of hearts of gold, even if they're rather single-mindedly focused on sex. They learn a lesson or two, yada yada yada, they move on, but it turns out nicely for all of them (except maybe the obnoxious Sherman).


I'm a little surprised. There wasn't nearly as much that I found disgusting as I thought I might. Much has been made of the bodily fluid in the beer joke, but it doesn't hold a candle to the same bodily fluid's appearance in last summer's marvel There's Something About Mary. Director Paul Weitz is excellent at sculpting sympathetic, if simple, characters, but he doesn't consistently display the comic touch of the Farrelly brothers for making that material really funny. To his credit, Weitz does earn a lot of laughter with the more embarrassing scenes. These are funny in large part because of the awkward chemistry between Eugene Levy as a well-meaning father and Jason Biggs as his slightly weirded-out son.

Rising Stars

The movie is filled with young greats who have already had some outstanding roles. Chris Klein, so excellent in Election, is well cast here as the lacrosse star looking to explore his sensitive side to get the girl. The fabulous Natasha Lyonne has a small but fun part, even recalling a moment of her amazing performance in Slums of Beverly Hills. (What do you mean you haven't seen it? Get to it!) Alyson Hannigan slips into the mode of Willow, her character on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", but packs a whopper of a surprise at the end. I won't be looking at her the same way again.

Nitpicking Spoilers!

A close inspection of the screens during the Internet sequence reveals attention to detail on the software that I didn't expect. The email really is accidentally addressed to Kevin, Stifler, and "EastHighDirectory". The contrivance is that all three entries are consecutive in the selection window, and it's a sloppy click that adds the school. The funniest thing, though, is one of the headers for the email, which reads "Copies: 1". When do you ever need to send more, unless you're Dilbert's pointy-haired boss?

Other Opinions

Copyright 1999-2002 by Scott Ventura. All rights reserved.