American Pie: A Running Diary. Sort Of

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About a year ago I came up with an idea: I was going to watch all nine American Pie movies, the four in the series and additional five American Pie Presents…pictures in a row. And I was going to keep a running diary. Then I thought about how that’s approximately 20 hours of scatological 90s/00s humor, so when I sat down on Saturday to start, I was going to watch THREE American Pie movies in a row. And I was going to keep a running diary. Then I was going to do that two additional times. 10 minutes into American Pie (1999), I had decided on watching ONE American Pie movie in a row. And I was going to keep a running diary. Which I sort of did. Look, it’s not 1999 anymore and I’m not 18, and my cum and pie fucking joke tolerance isn’t what it used to be. But I did rewatch the original, and here’s what I thought when I did. (I also still own all nine movies on DVD so I may get around to watching/reviewing the others in the future. Just in small doses).

1:30 PM We meet Jim (Jason Biggs). He’s watching scrambled porn- We’re in the 90s, baby!!!! Jim gets caught masturbating by his parents (Eugene Levy and Molly Cheek) in the most embarrassing sequence possible. They do a good job establishing right away how deeply weird this family is. I should also note that I only sort of remembered to note times, but this is basically the beginning of a 95 or so minute movie.

We get introduced to Chris Klein’s character “Oz” and he gets pointlessly sexist right away, because it’s the 90s and 90s humor needs to establish that women’s stuff is like this and guys’ stuff is like this. Oz says that Jim was watching “That all woman’s channel- lifetime supply of panties or something.” Good one, dude! Given the established tropes I really have nobody to blame but myself for failing at stand up. Women be shopping, after all.

Jim brings up The Little Mermaid out of nowhere, saying it was on TV and that Ariel is hot. This was weird in two senses. One, it’s referenced as if it’s a new movie, even though it came out in 1992, and two, we are really painting a picture of Jim’s inherent oddness. If I get one thing out of this rewatch, it’s that I never appreciated just how weird Jim was.

We’re in high school now, and we meet Vicky (Tara Reid) and Jessica (Natasha Lyonne). They’re talking about whether Vicky should have sex with Kevin (Thomas Ian “Rookie of the Year” Nicholas) or something. It’s not important, you all saw this movie 24 years ago. Given how famous most of this cast became in the few years after American Pie, it’s a little wild that the most famous cast members in 2023 are Natasha Lyonne, Jennifer Coolidge, Eugene Levy, and Blink 182. I have no idea how far in we are right now, like 20 minutes or so probably.

“Like warm apple pie.” There it is. This movie’s horrifying reason for existing.

“One Week” by Barenaked Ladies. High point of American culture in the 90s, never achieved again. I’m only sort of kidding. This song remains magical; it’s honestly one of my 10 favorite things about the formative decade of my life. Also it appears in the movie twice but isn’t on the soundtrack.

The Sherminator! (Chris Owen) The overly confident nerd is one of my favorite movie tropes. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg basically shaved the hard edges off of the Shermanator and gave us McLovin’ in Superbad. Chris Owen quietly had one of the best teen movie runs in the mid to late 90s. Angus, American Pie, Can’t Hardly Wait, She’s All That. The he was in a bunch of National Lampoon movies, not to mention, The Sherminator and Eugene Levy are the only two people who appeared in both the core series and the American Pie Presents spinoffs. Chris Moore was only in one, Eugene Levy appeared in every spinoff except for the most recent release, Girls’ Rules. Guy put together a solid career for himself, plus his role as Troy in Angus is a triumph.

Nice use of Etta James’s “At Last.” Classing this movie up!

“Suck me beautiful.” Or not.

“My friends call me Nova, as in Casanova.” Chris Klein never really had anything, did he? A block of wood that could speak. He’s handsome, sure, but so are 2 million other American males of similar age. We have Alexander Payne to thank for his discovery, and if he hadn’t found Chris Klein in Omaha, who else would they have gotten to star in the re-make of Rollerball?

Oh man, then revealed that they ACTUALLY call him Nova. I did not remember that at all.

Cum in a cup of beer. Our first sex crime played for laughs.

Shermanator pinnacle of 90s fashion. Not Jncos, but those jeans could have fit a trio of Shermans.

The wallpaper in Jim’s room is the sort of thing I always wanted and seeing how chaotic it makes the room, I’m glad I never did.

1:50 PM- Stifler calls Kevin and Jim “cucks.” In 1999. Is Steve Stifler (Sean William Scott) the inspiration for 2010s toxic masculinity? I’m was legitimately surprised when I heard this, and not just because he didn’t call them a gay slur instead.

1:59 PM- THE SCENE. Yes. I get that he needed to get caught by Eugene Levy, but what human being wouldn’t take it to his room or the bathroom? Anywhere really that isn’t the kitchen island. Jim’s weirdness can’t be understated.

2:02 PM- I discover that Mena Suvari starred in THREE movies in 1999 with American in the title: Pie, Virgin, and Beauty. I just Googled the cast for American Sniper to see if she’s been playing a career long prank on us.

2:05 PM- Jim has the world’s weirdest sort of Tigers jersey on. I get that they might not have wanted to pay a fee to use a MLB licensed jersey, but this was sort of like a Cub Scout shirt with an off brand Tiger patch on the back? The weirdest guy, I cannot stress this enough.

2:10 PM- THE OTHER SCENE. A sex crime set to a Blink 182 song. Peak 90s. Trivia note: Travis Barker is in American Pie, but this movie was shooting shortly after Travis replaced Scott, the original Blink 182 drummer, and they must have based the credits on Dude Ranch. Travis is credited as Scott in the movie.

This movie was released in July 1999, the summer after my Freshman year in college. One thing I can say is that this is movie is 100% accurate regarding the interactions between the guys in my Freshman dorm. They absolutely nailed how 18 year old guys interacted in 1998/1999.

2:34 PM- I wrote “crimes played for laughs” here. I don’t remember which crime this is, so I guess check the movie an hour in or so.

Prom Night. The night, baybee!!!! The dudes made a pact. They’ve GOT TO get laid tonight.

3:02 PM- Oh Stifler’s mom! The OTHER other scene. Also kind of another sex crime? Dunno if Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) was supposed to be 18 or not. BTW, Jennifer Coolidge was 38 when this movie came out and she looked Amazing in it. This was basically our introduction to her.

And we’ve reached the end. “You know what the coolest thing is guys? It’s this, right now.” I do like that they ended this with Kevin doing the John Hughes teen movie wrap up speech here while the audience knows how hollow he’s feeling. They really stuck the ending.

In case you’re ever at a trivia night and one of the questions is, “What is the last line of dialogue in American Pie?” say hi to me because I imagine I’m hosting it and the answer is “To the next step.”

Hey, that was American Pie. I bet you’re not too disappointed that I only covered 1/9th of the series here, but stay tuned for more of it in the future, maybe?

If you enjoyed this, take a look around. I don’t write much anymore but there’s a decent archive.

Thanks for reading.

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