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'American Pie 2'

Sloppy seconds: 'American Pie 2' not as tasty as the first piece

Friday, August 10, 2001

By Barry Paris, Post-Gazette Movie Critic

The second piece of "American Pie," if not as juicy as the first, is yet another helping of tasty teen humor in the lowest common denominator -- purporting to be a slice -- of American college life.

    'American Pie 2'

RATING: R for crude sexual content, language, drinking

STARRING: Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Chris Klein, Seann William Scott, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Eugene Levy, Shannon Elizabeth


CRITIC'S CALL: 2 stars


The original "Pie," its aficionados will recall, was baked in the oven of our guys' collective vow to lose their virginity by high-school graduation day. High- or lowlight of those high jinks was the premature ejaculation of Jim (Jason Biggs), to the chagrin of Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth) -- an event that was viewed by all on the Internet. But a certain earnest sincerity saved them -- and the movie -- from the celluloid Disposall.

This time around, the boys have finished their first year at college and are headed home for summer vacation, with no newer or better obsession: For sex and booze purposes, they rent a beach house -- convinced that all they have to do is plop a keg of beer on the deck, take off their shirts and wait for the chicks to come buzzing in like hungry hummingbirds.

The only indication that anybody's older or wiser is the boys' insight that when you ask a girl how many guys she's slept with, you multiply her answer by three, and the girls' insight that when a boy answers that question, you divide by three.

Otherwise, the situations and cast of this "Pie" are squared off pretty much as before: Biggs and Elizabeth reprise their roles. So do Alyson Hannigan (Michele), Eddie Kaye Thomas (Finch), Seann William Scott (Stifler), Chris Klein (Oz), Thomas Ian Nicholas (Kevin), and Chris Owen (Sherman). And so -- best of all -- does Eugene Levy (of "Best in Show" and "Waiting for Guffman" fame) as Jim's hilariously dorky father, who has a habit of coming into his son's room at the most masturbatory moments.

There's a funny pseudo-lesbian scene, when the guys are forced to get in touch with their homoerotic side (the preview audience went crazy at this), and some good shtick at band camp when Jim asks Michele for sex lessons to prepare him for Nadia. All in all, these boys and their gals are quite likable -- especially Biggs (who looks and acts like Adam Sandler), the delightfully weird Hannigan, and the oddball Thomas as karma-tantric Finch.

But neither director J.B. Rogers nor scriptwriter Adam Herz has brought anything new to the "Pie" party, which still seems to be mostly a celebration of hormones and the music and MTV video spinoffs of Tonic, Third Eye Blind, Blink 182, Sugar Ray, Fenix TX and the like.

'Tis somewhat amusing. 'Twas ever thus.

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