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American Pie 2

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: American Pie 2

Starring: Jason Biggs, Shannon Elizabeth
Director: J.B. Rogers
Rated: R
RunTime: 104 Minutes
Release Date: August 2001
Genre: Comedy

Review by Harvey Karten
No Rating Supplied

I was born too early. The more I see pictures about the fun that 19-year-olds are having these days, the more I regret that the Ayatollah Khomeni was the dean of men at my college and Taliban regularly enforced the curfew on the women's campus. "American Pie 2" does show that some hearts get broken; for example, one young woman insists that she and her ex-boy friend must remain just friends and ditto one young man's declaration of mere friendship to his girl friend. But all's well that ends well and the whole team of lovable collegians, some boisterous, others quiet and meditative; some geeky and others cheeky, are paired off by the closing credits of this rollicking comedy from the pen of Adam Herz with James B. Rogers at the helm.

A sequel to "American Pie," which broke some new ground as a primer on establishing an intimate relationship with a dessert, "American Pie 2" is more of the same, though without the cutting edge provided by the predecessor's novelty, the party begins to outlive its welcome.

No matter though, because so many of the sketches work once Rogers gets past a fairly flat opening and we get to like each one of the fellas and gals that the picture is a compelling enough dash of summer silliness to garner an endorsement. The high school seniors that we met and loved last year have just completed their freshman year of college and though a couple of the romantic relationships have fizzled, the fun-loving boys are sticking together for a season of merriment at an endless summer-resort beach party. Leading the levity is Jim (Jason Biggs), a not yet confident fellow who regularly gets firm encouragement in matters sexual from his liberal-minded but often embarrassing dad (played by the wonderful Eugene Levy). After a goodbye tryst from a woman with whom he had never shared a hello relationship, he moves out to the lakeside retreat with the motormouthed Stifler (Seann William Scott), who like everyone else of both genders has just one thing on his mind-- but is the one least likely to hide his consuming preoccupation. Joining them are the disparate denizens of the college including the geeky Sherman (Chris Owen), who turns everyone off by insisting that he's the Shermanator; Oz (Chris Klein), whose woman friend Heather (Mena Suvari) has gone to Europe; Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas), whose fixation with sex leads him to Eastern thought, namely the practice of Tantric yoga which he claims could generate an orgasm lasting for an hour or so; and Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) who simply can't get over his breakup with the gorgeous Vicky (Tara Reid).

According to the press notes, "the women in the movie want to have fun and they want adventure...They're ready for shenanigans with the guys, but they're not about to be taken for granted." The sure had me fooled, then, because these girls come across as hornier than the guys and in one case Michelle (Alyson Haningan) is even willing to teach the inexperienced Jim how to seduce a woman as though she were instructing him in the latest and coolest dance steps.

Most of the fun comes from the mishaps and while there's no pie this time around--no need for one when there are so many sweet young things around to take its place--the topper involves Jim once again who halfway through the story gets stuck not on a girl but on...himself, using a brand of Krazy Glue which he places liberally on himself thinking that it's a KY-type of lubricating ointment.

If you've been introduced to the vulgarities of the screen beginning with "There's Something About Mary" and anything else by the Farrelly brothers, you may find that either the coarseness is toned down in the J.B. Rogers picture or that we have become so accustomed to indelicacies in the theater that "American Pie 2" seems delightful without being offensive. We root for all of these folks to get hooked up with the persons they most desire, even the obnoxious Stifler, because uncouth as these revelers may be at times, they're all good natured--as is the picture.

Copyright 2001 Harvey Karten

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