So last week on The Series Project, I covered the first three of the American Pie movies, and trekked through a loveable, oft-revisited ensemble of teenage boys as they grew from awkward teenage virgins into, variously, adult newlyweds, more mature people, and better friends. And while their romantic uncoverings weren’t necessarily earth shattering, there was something kind of sweet about their sexual fumbling and raunchy misadventures. As each of the first three films came to a close, we got a sense that the characters actually had been somewhere, and had gone on a brief journey. Well, maybe not so much with American Wedding, but there was a level of halcyon nostalgia involved in seeing Jim, Kevin, Finch, Oz, and Stifler work out their sexual misdeeds with Michelle, Vicky, Stifler’s mom, Heather, and random bisexual chicks, respectively.
Well, all affection you had for the characters will, frustratingly, go on a hiatus for four films, as the American Pie franchise will, in this week’s installment of The Series Project here on CraveOnline, trek into the mire of nudity-laden, vaguely offensive, and eventually fully offensive, straight-to-video excursions. It’s time to drift away from the center of this series, and spend an entire four films on the sidelines, visiting supporting characters, and making vague references to the events of the first three films.
The only recurring character through all eight American Pie movies is Noah Levenstein, a.k.a. Jim’s dad, played by Eugene Levy. In the straight-to-video films, Noah will often only appear in a few scenes, usually acting as a sort of elder sage, doling out practical advice to the foolish youngsters who have run up against some sort of romantic or sexual angst. As the films progress, we’ll see that Mr. Levenstein is uniquely qualified to comment on sexual matters, as elements of his past will be revealed, and he’ll prove to be something of a broad-minded sexual dynamo. I like this approach. In the previous three films, he tried to talk to his son about sexual matters, but was too socially award to know when to talk, what to say, and when to leave his son be. He still seems a little awkward, but seems like a more well rounded character with a past and a story all his own. It also helps that a funny guy like Eugene Levy is in the role.
It’s a pity, then, that we’ll start playing supporting character roulette with the main characters. We’ll be up against a string of horny high school and college boys whose adventures become increasingly bland, even as the raunch quotient is upped. By the time one of our new heroes was being fellated by a corpse in The Book of Love, I was simultaneously bored and offended. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Remember how all of Michelle’s stories in the first American Pie film began with the phrase “This one time, at band camp…?” Remember how she talked about inserting a flute into her vagina? (By the way… ouch?) Well, now it’s time to head to band camp properly. Gird your loins and keep your gag reflex at the ready, as we’re about to slog in the trudgemank of the American Pie straight-to-video universe. Let’s go.
American Pie Presents Band Camp (dir. Steve Rash, 2005)
First, a little adjustment of the timeline. The film will center on Matt Stifler (Tad Hilgenbrinck), the younger brother of Steve Stifler (Seann William Scott) from the first three films. It’s 2005, and Matt is a Junior in high school. I guess that would have made him 13 years old during the events of American Pie 2, back in 2001. This fits. However, my wife pointed this out to me: In 2005, Mr. Levenstein announces that Michelle and Jim (never seen on screen) are pregnant. In American Reunion, the final (?) film in the series, which takes place in 2012, they have a young child who couldn’t have been older than 3. That means Michelle either had a miscarriage or an abortion of the pregnancy that began in 2005. Either that, or she just had a freakishly long gestation period. This is not discussed.
Matt also declares that his older brother Steve now runs a Girls Gone Wild-type home video company, something he doesn’t bring up in American Reunion. You’d think if the obnoxious horndog once ran a reality porn company, he’d bring it up. These straight-to-video films seem to play fast and loose with the notion of canon.
Anyway, Matt Stifler is a junior in high school, and idolizes his older brother. Tad Hilgenbrinck seems to have studied the first three films very carefully, as he perfectly imitates all the mannerisms and facial tics affected by Seann William Scott. Matt is essentially the same character as Steve. Why does this series have so much love for Stifler? The last film focused almost entirely on him, and the rest of the DTV sequels will feature members of his family as the main characters. Each film will essentially feature an arc as to how the respective Stiflers went from being total dickheads to being only partial d*ckheads. In a way, by repeatedly taking the air out of Stifler’s chest-pounding, skirt-chasing ways, this series is a constant attack on him. The American Pie movies live in a love/hate relationship with Stifler.
Matt plays cruel pranks for no good reason, usually on his childhood buddy Alyse (Arielle Kebbel from the new 90210). When Matt sprays pepper spray on the marching band’s instruments, and moons the entire school at the graduation ceremony, he is forcibly sent to summer camp by the school’s counselor, Sherman (Chris Owen, who has appeared in all the films to date, playing the same role, nicknamed The Sherminator). Not just summer camp, but Band Camp. What could be worse for an aspiring asshat than spending the entire summer with nerds? The gall! Luckily, Matt has heard the sex stories about this Band Camp (Michelle’s sexual experiences, it seems, were not limited to just her), and raises his hopes that he’ll see something kinky, and, what’s more, get to film it.
Matt purchases what must be several thousand dollars worth of spy camera equipment, and hopes to publish a Bandies Gone Wild video in the hopes of impressing his brother. The Stiflers have a reputation to uphold. This so-called Stifler Legacy will hang over all of the DTV movies like a dark cloud.
Also at Band Camp is Alyse, who is disgusted with Matt. No points for guessing that they’ll end up together by the film’s end. Also at Band Camp is Mr. Levenstein, who is acting as an honorary counselor while his daughter-in-law Michelle is out pregnant.
Matt, despite having displayed no talent for musical instruments, and having little regard for authority, is nonetheless allowed to roam free through Band Camp. He does indeed plant cameras in the showers, making for a 21st-century take on the shower spying from Porky’s. I’ll say this for the DTV Pies: they’re good enough to load your eyeballs up with a lot of nudity. By the time we get to Beta House, we’ll lose track of the bare breasts on display. Indeed, so many women take their tops off in these movies, you begin to get a good cross-section of the sheer variety of human breasts available to the horny eyes of teenage boys everywhere. The ubiquity of internet porn has, perhaps, taken the edge off of the nudity in raunchy movies like these, but the filmmakers have pretended like nudity is still fun. And indeed it is. There’s a refreshing old-timey, 1980s sex comedy vibe to the nudity in these films. Breasts, for brief moments, are still a treat.
It’s too bad that the storytelling is also taken from 1980s sex comedies. The archetypal characters and broad situations all feel recycled and familiar. Matt, for instance, has a rival in the form of the innocuously evil Brandon Vandecamp (Matt Barr). He is blonde, in good shape, rich, and cocky. I can’t even count how many times I’ve seen a guy like this before. Also, the story culminates in a Big Competition, wherein Alyse is set to win a big scholarship to a ritzy music academy. Her rival? Also Brandon.
Before that, though, we have a series of pranksterish sexual incidents with Matt. He really does want to film girls topless, and finds himself locked out of a room naked. One night, in a fit of sexual pique, Matt oils up the bell of an English Horn, and tries having sex with it. The English horn gets stuck on his penis. Yuk yuk. In dialogue, they all refer to the English horn as an oboe. I play neither instrument, and I can tell the difference. To be fair, they are both double-reed woodwinds. Matt also drinks a can of spittle harvested from used trumpets, forcing him to take ipecac, and barf on the camp nurse. He also swaps out a bottle of suntan lotion with a bottle of his own semen. The expected happens. We even get to see him harvesting his semen, complete with visualizations of his masturbation fantasies. He likes to see the women he knows dressed in cheap vinyl fetish outfits, evidently.
Of course, by the film’s end, he will come to care of what Alyse is trying to do, and he’ll come to be fond of the other band geeks in her charge. Those videos he made of the fat guy having sex against a tree, or the nerdy kid having sex with the hot tattooed Indian gal will have to be erased, much to the chagrin of his jerkwad friends back at high school. He will kiss Alyse, sparking real romance. He’ll accidentally ruin the competition (that ipecac is involved), but he’ll make it up to her by getting her an audition for the music academy nonetheless. Do I need to tell you all this? It all seems pretty obvious. Stifler is redeemed. Again.
A few other things: Matt plays bagpipes, but only in two scenes. You think he’d do it more often at, y’know, a Band Camp. Also, the aforementioned nerdy kid (Jason Earles) has a goofy remote control robot with camera eyes. I was reminded of the robot butler in Revenge of the Nerds. He uses the robot to charm the hot Indian gal (Crystle Lea Lightning, her real name). I wish I had thought of that in high school.
And this is the last we’ll see of Matt Stifler. Luckily (?) for us, Steve Stifler has a large family. What, for instance, is his cousin up to?
American Pie Presents The Naked Mile (dir. Joe Nussbaum, 2006)
So that Stifler Family Legacy is now dangling, like the sword of Damocles, over the head of one Erik Stifler (John White), the virginal and shy cousin of Steve and Matt. Erik more resembles Jim than Stifler, though, as he constantly finds himself in the embarrassing sexual situations. In the film’s opening scene, Erik is seen masturbating furiously to a video tape (he prefers the old-timey VHS quality), wearing headphones, when his mom, dad and grandmother walk in on him. He is so startled, he turns toward them, and ejaculates on all three of them. This kills his grandmother. Seriously. The first joke of the film is a teenage boy killing his own grandma with his semen. Luckily, the death of this woman is seen as a comedy beat, and Erik won’t mention it until the next film. Yeah, he’ll be back.
Erik is dating the virginal and pretty Tracy (Jessy Schram) who is openly unready for sex. Erik wants to have sex, partly because he’s horny, and partly because he feels pressured to be the tomcat that Stiflers are known to be. When the couple tries to consummate their relationship, her dad walks in on them, causing Erik to hide naked in a dryer. He defecates in the dryer in fear, and flees wearing pantyhose over his head and a condom. I guess these American Pie sequels felt the need to up the gross-out quotient, or at least keep the legacy alive. That ejaculation scene from earlier? That will be mirrored by another ejaculation scene later in the film.
Tracy feels so weird about the stalled deflowering, and feels so bad about withholding sex from Erik that she, bafflingly, grants him a Guilt Free Pass. He’s allowed to lose his virginity with someone else to “get it out of his system.” The female characters in this film talk a lot about how “guys are guys,” and how “guys only want one thing, and you’d better give it to them, or they’ll break up with you.” Yeah, sex can be a vitally important part of a relationship, but it would be nice if these kids actually talked about it, rather than banking on cheap clichés and offensive virgin/whore hysterics. Erik reluctantly accepts this Guilt Free Pass, and leaves town to visit his cousin Dwight Stifler on the nearby college campus.
Dwight (Steve Talley) is indeed living up to the Stifler name, as he is the best-known c*ck on campus. It’s here that the American Pie series will begin to offend in earnest. I should probably make clear that one of my least favorite film genres is the college party film. It may just be sour grapes (I, you see, was a theater major who never got invited to those parties in college), but college parties full of kegs and strip poker and sex in the always-available upstairs bedrooms, well, they always stank of desperation to me. Like how I felt watching American Pie 2, but writ large; that these kids are constantly determined to have not just a party but The Best Party Ever, and will force themselves into all manner of debauch. They are desperately afraid that someone on campus might be having more fun than they. Like they’re only looking to accumulate stories for when they’re sober the next day, and care little for the actions of tonight. Like they’re empty-eyed, emotionally fallow machines who only seem to dimly perceive that booze and late night sex can keep their barely flickering souls afire for the next hour, lest the existential angst force them into a dizzying abyss of meaninglessness.
Yeah. Maybe it’s just sour grapes.
To his credit, Steve Talley plays Dwight very well. He’s a genuinely charming and funny guy, and seems like the kind of fellow you would want to hang out with in college. Dwight, hearing that his cousin has been granted a Pass, is determined to get him (and his two buddies) laid during the college tradition of The Naked Mile; a year-end one-mile streak across campus. This is, at the very least, a college tradition I’ve heard of. Naked Miles are practiced by a few colleges yearly. Just not my college. #@%$.
The two buddies, by the way, are Cooze and Ryan, played by Jake Siegel and Ross Thomas. Cooze and Ryan will appear in the next film as well. In this film, they take some Viagara, and run the Naked Mile with erections. Then they hang buckets from their erections, and fill them with beer, proving their penile strength. It’s during the beer bucket scene that Cooze ejaculates on a crowd. At least the ejaculation at the film’s outset proved to be a framing device.
What else? Oh yeah! The dwarfs. Dwight has a football rivalry with a fraternity of dwarf students, led by Rock (Jordan Prentice, from Howard the Duck). While the dwarf characters are meant to be funny, the film is surprisingly tactful about their height. Indeed, Rock’s girlfriend is seen as a legitimate sex object alongside all the lithe, topless, breast-implanted babes.
Erik, meanwhile has caught the eye of a hot babe named Brandy (Candace Kroslak from DooL), all all signs point to him losing his virginity. Tracy, back at home, worries about the whole Free Pass thing, and has second thoughts. Mr. Levenstein appears to both Tracy and Erik and gives them both the only practical advice they hear in the films. The best friends in these films only serve to give out bad advice. Indeed, Tracy’s friends encourage Tracy to lose her virginity as well, all as a tactic to shore up her relationship with Erik. Bad best friends. No biscuit. Mr. Levenstein, by the way, is credited in this film as the founder of the Naked Mile tradition. Good on him.
Kind of predictably, Erik turns down sex with Brandy, and ends up having sweet sex with Tracy (he leaves a party and steals a white horse to get back to his hometown). The horny best friends have kinky sex with their desired parties. I sensed a streak of misogyny creeping in. Women are either virgins or whores in this universe. When a woman displays any form of sexuality, it’s always extreme or kinky in some way. Women can be kinky if they want to be, of course, but it would be nice to see a woman in these movies who is merely sexual, and not an aspiring porn star. Of course, the boys are mostly all immature, loutish horndogs who hump the legs of any of the whorey women he manages to pass by. I guess no one gets out clean. The audience least of all.
I’ll say this in favor of the DTV Pie films: They all do have some funny moments, and the nudity is fun throughout. None of them are incompetently made or poorly plotted. They’re just, well, kinda dirty. And not always in a fun way.
But worry not, friends. It’ll be two films before the bottom. Let’s look at a film that escaped from 1984, as we look into…
American Pie Presents Beta House (dir. Andrew Waller, 2007)
So this film takes place a year after the events of The Naked Mile, and follows the same characters. It’s like the series is trying to start a new canon. The spirit of the originals is gone, however, and replaced by a stultifying and strangely timeless National Lampoon college party vibe. Indeed, this exact script, with only a few minor changes, could have been written in the early 1980s. It concerns dueling fraternities, and their silly antics. There is little plot to speak of, and the film is pretty much just 90 minutes of pranks.
Well, there is a tiny bit of story, which I’ll get out of the way quickly. Erik (still John White), for instance, is now going to the same college where Dwight is attending. He has a would-be romance with a pretty gal named Ashley (Meghan Heffern), with whom he prematurely ejaculates. Yup. Even more flying semen. I’ve seen less semen in porn movies. Cooze (Jake Siegel), meanwhile, also begins an affair with a pretty Georgian gal with an intermittent Southern accent who refuses to let him touch her vagina. He begins to imagine that she’s secretly a hermaphrodite. That’s not where my mind would go, but sexual communication in these DTV movies is about on the 4th grade level.
The main plot of the film, though, concerns Erik’s and his friends’ attempt to join the Beta House fraternity, the campus party house which is proudly run by Dwight (Steve Talley). They must complete a list of about 50 different tasks to join. The tasks involve things like having sex in the library (luckily one of the pledges actually has a randy girlfriend), stealing from rivals, and getting strippers to sign your buttocks. For this portion of the film, I actually had some bits of fun, as I was reminded of the joyful scavenger hunt of Midnight Madness. Treasure hunt movies, for however simply plotted they may be, usually grab me. It’s a subgenre I enjoy in spite of myself.
Something else I liked about the film: there was one (1) scene of someone actually, y’know, studying. So many college films are devoted to the parties and frat antic that they seem to forget that college is actually… school. Like, where kids go to read books, study the sciences, and become well rounded and learned individuals. Not all of us took time from our classes to build brassiere bombs. Some of us actually liked writing essays on Richard II.
The rivals in this film are referred to as Geek House, and they are the usual snotty rich movie villains that were cliché even when Animal House came out. There might be something culturally telling about using geeks as villains. Geeks, one time, were used as objects of mockery. Awkward kids who were asking to be bullied as part of their genetic makeup. By 2007, geek culture had kind of entered the mainstream, and all pop culture became permeated by the geek vibe. As a result, the cool, hard-drinking party kids were no longer bullies, but a minority. As such, geeks are bad guys and drinking legends are underdogs. This is so counter to what I’m used to.
The Geek House challenges the Beta House to a Greek Olympiad, wherein, just like in Revenge of the Nerds, the fraternities must compete in a series of protracted games. The loser loses the deed to their frat house. The games are constantly described as being extra raunchy and dangerous, but they’ll actually prove to be legal, and much safer than the hazing rituals we saw earlier. The games are presided over by the former champion of the games… why, none other than Noah Levenstein! Eugene Levy is such a sport. Mr. Levenstein himself is pretty sporting as well. The contest involves catching greased pigs and duels over a swimming pool. The games actually looked kind of fun. Well, all except the drinking contest. Whoever finished a keg first, won. The Betas win because they have an alcoholic on their team. Seriously. He’s known for blacking out. He never thinks to go to meetings, although he probably should. The Betas also win by vomiting. The one scene with the projectile vomiting was painful and gross and gross and gross.
Rock (Jordan Prentice) also reappears to give Dwight some embarrassing backstory on the head of the Geek house, and how he once had sex with a sheep. I will say no more.
The film is fun enough, I suppose, and certainly has more breasts than ever before (seriously, I think over 30 women take their tops off for the cameras). It’s just a dull slog through the usual dated college party antics I’ve been seeing since the 1980s. If you were born in the mid-to-late-1990s, and you don’t know American Pie too well, and haven’t seen teen sex comedies from the 1980s, this film will do well as an intro to a well-loved subgenre that the generation before you used instead of porn.
Now to the bottom of the barrel.
American Pie Presents The Book of Love (dir. John Putch, 2009)
I’ll try to be brief, as this film was so effing offensive it made me want to puke my pants. Maybe I’ll just check off a tally as to why it’s so offensive. I guess first, though, I should mention the stuff I liked.
The film is, once again, an ensemble piece like the original American Pie films. It’s about a group of teen male friends all following different romantic paths with different girls. Some are raunchy. Some are sweet. The romantic resolutions resolve independently. I liked that. Also, the actors were kind of charming, and Noah Levenstein is given a cool short film of his own partway through the film, even though it pretty much halts the film we were watching.
But that was it. Otherwise the film reeks of cheap, shallow wank lazzi, weak-willed misogynist characters, and terrible sexual slapstick. Here’s the tally:
The film follows a whole new set of characters, led by the blushing shy guy Rob (Bug Hall) who is trying to declare his love for Heidi (Beth Behrs), who sees him as a friend, and goes to him for sex advice. He, of course, gives bad advice as to sabotage her chances with other guys. Rob is an okay guy, but he does some unethical things throughout the film.
Like MANSLAUGHTER! Seriously. He accidentally kills someone. He and his two horny friends Nathan (Kevin M. Horton) and Lube (Brandon Hardesty), in one scene, drive to Canada to visit a notorious brothel. Rob is taken upstairs by an elderly Madame (Giselle Lavande) who looks to be in her early 80s. The madame fellates Rob with her dentures out, and he loves it. She then dies right when he ejaculates. I can think of few less dignified ways to go. Then, just to be extra horrible, I suppose, her gums clamp down on his penis, and the following scene involved Rob and his buddies trying to extricate his penis from her mouth. Her corpse is slammed in the head several times with a telephone. Call me odd, but I didn’t think it was that funny. They flee the brothel, and never get in trouble for being involved in this woman’s death, or beating up her corpse.
So Rob is hardly spotless. But he’s nowhere near as horrible as his friend Nathan. Nathan has a girlfriend (Melanie Papalia) with whom he hasn’t had sex yet. She has recently taken a vow of chastity, trying to reclaim her virginity after a spate of sluttiness. If you’re kind of embarrassed about your sexual history, you should at least acknowledge it. Reclaiming your virginity seems kind of counterintuitive after you’ve had at least one threesome. Nathan, however, badgers her and berates her for her sexual withholding. He forces her to give him blowjobs, and seems to extort her for sex. She’s dishonest with herself, and he’s a d*ckhead to her. I hated both of these characters. Nathan has no redeeming qualities.
Rob’s other best friend Lube is the awkward fat guy who has been lusting after the school’s head cheerleader Alyson (Naomi Hewer). He seems sincere enough I suppose. It’s just a pity that the old saw of the fat-guy-with-the-hot-girl cliché needs to be played out yet again. But then the fat-guy-with-the-hot-girlfriend happens a lot in real life too. So maybe it wasn’t so trite.
The titular Book of Love is, by the way the “Bible” from the first American Pie. If you recall, Kevin found a special sex journal in the school library that taught him how to perform cunnilingus. This journal had been originally picked up in Amsterdam in the 1970s, and has been amended and expanded by various students over the years. The book gets damaged in a fire, and our heroic trio decides that it will be the key to getting them laid. Unlike the kids in the first film, I didn’t want to see this boys get laid. I wanted them to be punished. I wanted them to be put in a place far away from the opposite sex, where they would do no harm. Rob is a bit mean, Nathan is a little rapey, and Lube is kind of delusional. Bleaugh.
The book is eventually presented to its original author, none other than Noah Levenstein! Holy crap, Jim’s dad got around! The book was damaged in a fire, and, about an hour into the film, there is a montage where Mr. Levenstein and the boys decide to recreate what was in the book by contacting everyone who had contributed over the years. It was a neat montage, but it had little to do with the rest of the film. It felt like the road trip sequence from Elizabethtown. It was here that we got some celebrity cameos from the likes of C. Thomas Howell, Dustin Diamond, Steve Railsback, Tim Matheson and Bret Michaels from Poison.
This film actually has some star power. Curtis Armstrong pays a teacher. And Rosanna Arquette plays Rob’s mom.
Virgin/whore hysterics. Mean boys. Shallow girls. And, yes, there is even a bonus Sifler in the form of Scot (John Patrick Jordan) who is raped by a CGI moose.
Hatred. Bubbling hurt and hatred. That is all.
Can we please get back to theaters now?
American Reunion (dir. John Hurwitz & Jason Schlossberg, 2012)
This film is still playing in theaters, and was recently reviewed here on CraveOnline, so I will be brief on this one.
We’re back to our original gang, and it’s surprising how many of the original cast members returned. Jim and Michelle (Jason Biggs and Alyson Hannigan) are now a long-married couple with a three-year-old son. Their sex life is flagging. Oz (Chris Klein) is now a celebrity sports announcer who recently lost on a dancing game show, and is married to a hot, hot model (Katrina Bowden) with a libido that outmatches his. Oz is still carrying a torch for Heather (Mena Suvari) whom he must have broken up with between here and American Pie 2. Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas, so that’s where he’s been) is also married, but finds himself still attracted to Vicky (Tara Reid) when they reunite. Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) has become something of an awesome nomad, traveling to exotic places and riding a motorcycle. Stifler (Seann William Scott) is still around, and still owns his “Orgasm Donor” t-shirts.
They have reunited for their 13-year high school reunion (?), and each must work through their respective romantic troubles.
I won’t go into the plotting, suffice to say, they each find themselves in all kinds of embarrassing scrapes. At one point, Jim is trying to deliver an 18-year-old nude drunk gal back into her bedroom before her parents notice. At another point, Stifler ruins some jetskis as a form of vengeance. They each seem to be as awkward as before, but a bit more calm with the onset of their 30s. They all look and act 30. Well, except for Stifler. Thankfully, the film is not about him.
There is something kind of comforting about revisiting these characters. The DTV films merely tried to keep the raunch alive. American Reunion attempts to recapture the halcyon camaraderie of the first few films, with some amount of success. And while their stories weren’t as immediate or as fun as the original (watching men in their 30s getting into sexual scrapes is more unseemly than watching naïve teens go through the same thing), I was at least oddly relieved to see these folks again. Yes, some of that misogyny is still there (women, again, are whores and the men all need porn star sex just to gauge how happy they are), but it’s nowhere near as bad as the DTV films.
The screenwriters certainly did their homework, though, and allowed everyone back. Sherman (Chris Owen), Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth), and even the two MILF guys (John Cho and Justin Isfeld) are all back for cameos. They all look their age, and that’s kind of a relief. In all the previous films (yeah, all of them) the teens all looked older than they were (which is because they were played by actors in their 20s). Now they all look like they’re in their 30s because they actually are. Grownups trying to recapture their teen glory. There’s something a little sad about that, but in a melancholy way. It’s not quite The Big Chill. It’s not even quite Scream 4. But it’s still largely inoffensive.
And yes, Eugene Levy is back, making him the only actor to appear in all eight films. In this film, his wife has been dead for three years (!), and Jim is there to help him back on the saddle. He ends up going on a date with Stifler’s mom (Jennifer Coolidge) who seems unchanged since 2001. Stifler also finally gets his revenge on Finch by sleeping with Finch’s mom (an uncredited Rebecca De Mornay).
And that’s where our journey comes to an end. It was sick, sweet, and everything in between. Since American Pie, the teen sex comedy seems to have mutated into Apatow-inspired tales of men in their 30s arrested in adolescence. In many ways, this generation never grew up. So it’s kind of refreshing to see them (in the early films) as kids, struggling with some universal sexual problems. The films aren’t perfect, and they’re not earth-shattering, but I’d be lying if I said the early American Pie films weren’t significant.
And, with the four-film cycle of DTV frat comedies, the series, while shifting in tone and making some pretty crappy entries, seemed to take some joy in ignoring developments in sex comedies, and reveling in their own chintzy 1980s retroactive qualities. Sex comedies, the DTV films seemed to be saying, are alive and well in the late ’00s.
I could have done without the semen, though.
You know how many times semen appeared on screen over the course of the 8 films? The answer is: about 12. Semen is, I will declare, the new pie-in-the-face.
And that’s pretty gross.