Saturday, August 18, 2012

Movie – American Pie 2 (2001)

After the success of 1999’s American Pie, a sequel was inevitable.  Almost as inevitable is that the sequel would try to repeat the jokes that worked the best in the first film.  Some of them worked (i.e. actually going to Band Camp) and some of them didn’t.  The biggest difference between this film and the original is that this sequel concentrated more on the male characters.  While all the young actresses from American Pie are also in this sequel, all except Alyson Hannigan have smaller roles.  This sequel is not as funny as the first one, but it still has enough laughs for me to recommend it.

Among the repeated jokes in this sequel is Jim (Jason Biggs) committing a stupid sex act that he ends up getting caught at, Steve Stifler (Seann William Scott) being a loudmouth jerk who gets his comeuppance, and the continuation of the Jim and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) storyline, which is my favorite part of this movie.

In this film they have graduated high school and people have started going in different directions.  The guys decide to rent a place on a lake for the summer so they can party for one last time before they all leave for different colleges, but find they need Stifler along to help them pay for it.  They reluctantly include him.  Hijinks ensue.

Jim is still pining over Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth), but at the same time, he can’t get the sexual encounter with Michelle out of his head.  He decides to travel to Michelle’s summer band camp to see her.  (“This one time, at band camp…”)  Hannigan’s Michelle character once again shows that band geeks are freaks when it comes to sex.  She also tries to help Jim with his Nadia problem.  Combine this with actress Shannon Elizabeth’s refusal to repeat her famous nude scene from the original, and you can easily guess who Jim ends up with.

The funniest scene in this film is probably the one where Jim and Stifler get caught thinking two women are lesbians.  The women decide to tease the guys by saying that they will make out if Jim and Stifler do the same for them.  An awkwardly funny scene follows with Jim and Stifler trying to kiss so they can then see the two women do it.  This scene ended up winning the Mtv Movie Award for Best Kiss.  (The next film would have a call back joke where two women ask Jim and Stifler if they want to see them make out, and both guys quickly shout “No!”)

Hannigan had to do double duty.  While making this film she was also still filming her TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  (You can read my review of that here).  Once she even had to run from one set to the other to film a scene, and then run back.  It paid off for her because this film is the one that pretty much made her the female lead of the American Pie series.

There is a funny cameo appearance from one of the characters from the first film, but to say who it is would spoil a funny conclusion to one character’s storyline.  Here’s a hint, though – it’s a repeat of one of the most talked about scenes from the first film.

American Pie 2 made about half again what the original film made.  Even though it had a larger budget it was still a big moneymaker for the studio.  People were already predicting a third film while this one was still in the theaters.

If you didn’t much care for American Pie, then you should probably avoid this one.  If you did laugh at the original, though, then this sequel should provide you with more laughs.  I recommend you give it a try.

Chip’s Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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  1. Good review Chip. This edition is terribly dull but still has some funny moments, mainly thanks to the Stifmeister. As usual, William Scott is awesome and you can never go wrong with this guy.

    1. I consider this to be the weakest of the four theatrical movies, but like you said, it still has some laughs in it.

  2. Great review! I saw 4 films with original cast yesterday and I really like all of those, even 3rd movie. The second film is the one I found to be the funniest, mostly because of the scene where Jim glued himself "to himself" :)

    1. Compounded by the fact that the police want him to put his hands over his head or they will shoot. As a guy, though, I had to cringe at that scene, even while I was laughing. Thanks.