Jim - Jason Biggs
Kevin - Thomas Ian Nichols
Vicky - Tara Reid
Chris Ozstreicher - Chris Klein
Heather - Mena Suvari
Jessica - Natasha Lyonne
Jim's Dad - Eugene Levy
Directors: Paul and Chris Weitz
Do you remember high school? Those in my age group have been taken back in the past few years with movies like Grosse Point Blank, Romy and Michelle, and The Wedding Singer. They conveyed what we grew up through, and also reflected the mood and attitude of our movies, The Breakfast Club, Fast Times, Porky's and Sixteen Candles. When the teens of today look back and reminisce in 10 years, what will they have to remember? Can't Hardly Wait? She's All That? I don't think so. The movies were not bad, but were also not very memorable either. They were filled with pretty faces, fairly unrealistic stories, and worst of all, no emotion, heart, or sense of reality. If i was a teen, I would want Election remembered, if anything, because it comes as close as I can imagine to what its like for kids out there today.
American Pie falls a lot closer to Election than the other group, because it is filled with kids, pretty, and not, that are real, and have emotions that seem to reflect the exhilaration of growing up, and the fear of it at the same time. It is possible to convey this message without insulting our intelligence. Sure, there are grossout scenes (well, one at least) ala Theres Something About Mary, but here it seems to fit, not just thrown in for shock value, because it captures the nature of how we were as teens, and how teens probably are today. It is a bit over the top, never too far, riding right on that edge of going too far, but never really doing it.
Part of what makes American Pie a success, is that it is done with a realistic intelligence that both young and old can relate to, becoming sort of a bond, or bridge to the Generation gap which seems to be ever widening between todays youth, Gen X, and even the late Baby Boomers. We all went through adolescent growing pains, in one form or another, yet it seems only a few movies have been able to effectively capture that nature as this one does.
The relationship between the scene-stealing Second City alum Eugene Levy and Jason Biggs, reminded me at least, of that parent that we both loved, and dreaded (for embarrassment, at the same time), Chris Klein shows once again his Keanu inspiration, or at least what Mr Reeves would look like if he stopped trying to act, and just gave in to his natural appeal of clueless charm.
Ultimately, American Pie is funny, charming, intelligent, and although it does go a little too far, and is a bit much at times, it is never a movie without heart, and finally gives this generation, a movie to look back on, and relate to. So take a slice of American Pie, and remember back to those eager, anxious, sometimes painful memories of parties, band camp, falling in lust, and falling in love for the first time. This is a journey you will smile at, laugh at, and mostly, enjoy.($$$ of $$$$)
Actor and movie information courtesy of the Internet Movie DatabaseImages courtesy of American Pie Official Website